Strangers and others: From deconstruction to hermeneutics

Critical Horizons 3 (1):7-36 (2002)
This paper argues that what is needed to properly engage the human obsession with strangers and enemies is a critical hermeneutic capable of addressing the dialectic of others and aliens, that is, a hermeneutic that can solicit ethical decisions without succumbing to over hasty acts of binary exclusion. It is argued that we need to be able to critically differentiate between different kinds of otherness, while remaining alert to the deconstructive challenge to black-and-white judgements of us-versus-them. We need, at critical moments, to expose the other in the alien and the alien in the other.
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