Other-Wise. Alterity: Materiality, Mediation
Per J. Otnes
Oslo: Scandinavian University Press 1997
This book deals with things and how they relate to their users, a set of similar units called the Others. Their relations bring them to the attention of another set of similar units, customarily called Individua1s or Selves, here redefined and renarned Connectuals, Dividuals, or Plecads.
The familiar theory of praxis - doings, work, business - is not quite all there is to being wise to the Others, or Other-Wise, which is rather a theory of chresis (from Gk. chao, chresthail), to use, treat, consult, encounter. A text, then, itself a thing, dealing with things, for your use, about uses. A science mode d'emploi, as it were.
Departing from the cogitor or "I'm being thought", we deal l with things such as cars, roads, maps, and landscapes. Before ending with "the real thing", we comment liberally on the language, "art", and wisdom of uses, i.e. of chreseology as a fresh approach to the science of sociology.
The text may be said to belong, in its ciitical way. within the constructivist tradition. It did not seem fair to oppose Individualism, Methodological or Ontological, before being able to sketch an alternative. In the same spirit, the text outlines a transcending of the mind-matter divide.