(751 words)

The word  “alterity” denotes otherness, usually understood as cultural otherness and/or foreignness. As a term of art, alterity appeared only recently in     anthropological and historical discussion; it has taken on increased importance since the 1980s, although the process began in philosophy as early as the 1960s. The term plays a central role in postmodern theory, where it is understood as radical otherness and is discussed especially as a problem of the perception and representation of the Other. As the cou…

Cite this page
Gareis, Iris, “Alterity”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 21 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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