Polemology and xenology: Waldenfels and the sting of the alien

  • Dragan Prole Head of Philosophy Department, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad
Keywords: Waldenfels, phenomenology, alien, polemology, xenology

Abstract

After explaining why phenomenology of the alien cannot be counted among traditional philosophical disciplines, the author explores why all of European history can be read as the “shading of the alien” (Verblendung des Fremden), although not in the sense of mere disregarding, neglecting or denying of the alien, but disciplining it, manipulating and exploiting it. The alien has not been forgotten for centuries, it was always in the European focus, but only as an instance through which the sense of power was traditionally constructed. Following the basic presumptions of Bernhard Waldenfels’ phenomenology of the alien the article presents the shading of the alien as analogous to the process of its naturalization. As if the tradition of European colonialism can be best understood in the key of maître et possesseur de’l étranger. That is to say, the European legacy shows, in an extraordinary manner, that the alien can be transformed into a resource, from which we can appropriate and assimilate everything. A crucial insight for Waldenfels is also that strangeness is not reducible to a narrow segment of reality, whether it is culture, religion or art-based, because strangeness is a radical dimension that transcends all regions.

References

Čajkanović, Veselin (1973), Mit i religija u Srba, Beograd: Srpska književna zajednica.
Dallmayr, Fred (2001), “Dezentrierter Dialog. Waldenfels an vielfachen Diskursüberkreuzungen”, in Matthias Fischer, Hans-Dieter Gondek, and Burkhard Liebsch (eds.), Vernunft im Zeichen des Fremden. Zur Philosophie von Bernhard Waldenfels, Frankfurt am/M: Suhrkamp.
Derrida, Jacques (1978), Writing and Difference, Translated by Alan Bass, London: Routledge.
Escoubas, Eliane and Bernhard Waldenfels (2000), Phénoménologie française et phénoménologie allemande, Paris: L’Harmattan.
Guibal, Francis (1980), … Et combien de dieux noveaux. Approches contemporaines II. Emmanuel Levinas, Paris: Aubier-Montaigne.
Husserl, Edmund (1960), Cartesian Meditation. An Introduction to Phenomenology, Translated by D. Cairns, The Hague: M. Nijhoff.
Husserl, Edmund (1970), The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy, Translated by David Carr, Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Husserl, Edmund (1998), The Paris Lectures, Translated by P. Koestenbaum, Boston: Kluwer.
Kasirer, Ernst (1985), Filozofija simboličkih oblika II. Mitsko mišljenje, Translated by Olga Kostrešević, Novi Sad: Dnevnik; Književna zajednica Novog Sada.
Kristeva, Julia (1991), Strangers to Ourselves, Translated by L. Roudiez, New York: Columbia University Press.
Levinas, Emmanuel (1972), Humanisme de l’autre homme, Montpellier: Fata Morgana.
Levinas, Emmanuel (2009), “Notes philosophiques diverses”, in Emmanuel Levinas, Carnets de captivité et autres inédits. OEuvres I, Paris: IMEC/Grasset.
Nietzsche, Friedrich (1980), Götzen-Dämmerung, in Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari (eds.), Sämtliche Werke. Kritische Studienausgabe, Band 6, Berlin: de Gryter.
Szilasi, Wilhelm (1959), Einführung in die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls, Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (1997), Topographie des Fremden. Studien zur Phänomenologie des Fremden I, Frankfurt am/M: Suhrkamp.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (1998), Der Stachel des Fremden, Frankfurt am/M: Suhrkamp.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (2001), Verfremdung der Moderne. Phänomenologische Grenzgänge, Göttingen: Wallstein.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (2002), Bruchlinien der Erfahrung. Phänomenologie, Psychoanalise, Phänomenotechnik, Frankfurt am/M: Suhrkamp.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (2005), Idiome des Denkens. Deutsch-französische Genankengänge II, Frankfurt am/M: Suhrkamp.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (2007), Antwortregister, Frankfurt am/M: Suhrkamp.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (2008), Philosophisches Tagebuch. Aus dem Werkstatt des Denkens 1980-2005 (Regula Giuliani, ed.), München: W. Fink.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (2009), Ortsverschiebungen, Zeitverschiebungen. Modi leibhaftiger Erfahrung, Frankfurt am/M: Suhrkamp.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (2010), Sinne und Künste im Wechselspiel. Modi ästhetischer Erfahrung, Frankfurt am/M: Suhrkamp.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (2015), Sozialität und Alterität. Modi sozialer Erfahrung, Berlin: Suhrkamp.
Waldenfels, Bernhard (2017), Platon. Zwischen Logos und Pathos, Berlin: Suhrkamp.
Published
2018-09-27
Section
BERNHARD WALDENFELS AND THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE FOREIGN