Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 3, No 1 (2007)

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The Rhetorical Turn to Otherness: Otherwise than Humanism

Ronald C Arnett, Janie Harden Fritz, Annette M Holba

Abstract


While offering a public welcome of communicative participation, a communicative dark side of the moderate Enlightenment project emerged. Moderate Enlightenmentrsquo;s corollary companion to wresting power from a limited few is the staggering sense of confidence in the universal ground of assurance that is ldquo;bad faithrdquo; mdash;we fib to ourselves that we can stand above history and affect the future. Absolute conviction of universal access to truth propels through methodological confidence, undergirding the era of ldquo;the rationalrdquo; pursuit of truth, transporting the individual into an ethereal delusionmdash;that one can stand above the historical moment of engagement and cast judgment. This essay calls into question the common assumption that communication begins with the individual. We offer a critique of this assumption in accordance with radical enlightenment scholarship, calling forth a return to Otherness that renders the construct of individual secondary to that which is met.br /

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