The Silence of the Other: the Voice and the Sign


  • Una Popović Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad



silence, voice, sign, language, the Other, society, presence, absence


This paper is about the interconnectedness of the realm of language with that of social interactions, constitutive of all human communities. Arguing against the traditional and still present primacy of the rationally based understanding of language, I wish to stress the possibility of another approach to language, strongly related to the question of the Other. Relying on the idea that the Other is a constitutive part of any linguistic situation, I wish to inspect how it is possible for the voice of the Other to be suppressed or silenced, and if that is the case, how we should understand the silence of the Other. The main result of my findings is that the silence of the Other is not only meaningful, but that it can have positive social and political effects, including the enhancement of the sensitivity for the various modalities of the voice of the Other.


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