T is for Togetherness

| March 25, 2014

In “A Phenomenology of the Global City”, Mendieta states that people’s experiences are “determined by a continuous mingling with crowds, and large, undifferentiated masses of people” (221). For a time in our history, we were ignorant of the other. Groups had maintained their stability by solely knowing their world and the traditions within it; therefore, these groups remained unaware of otherness. However, now, the other has become a part of us; “we are all others before each other” (222). By encountering the other, we have discovered our sense of identity and a sense of difference. As Mendieta states, people form their identities through experiencing the other. Through the inclusion of the other within our very beings, there has been a shift from the negative to the positive in the discussion about the other. Similarly, in “City Life as a Normative Ideal”, Young defines city life as “the being together of strangers” (164). The unknown and unfamiliar affects one’s own condition. In this way, the bodies within the city are bound to one another and experience a togetherness, rather than remaining within their own respective groups. A virtue of social relations within a city Young discusses is “an attraction to the other, the pleasure and excitement of being drawn out of one’s secure routine to encounter the novel, strange, and surprising” (166). In our encounters and interactions with the other, we continuously gain new perspectives on the city.

Meagher, Sharon M., ed. Philosophy and the City: Classic to Contemporary Writings. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008. Print.