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Under SuspicionA Phenomenology of Media$
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Boris Groys

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231146180

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231146180.001.0001

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The Gaze of the Other

The Gaze of the Other

(p.62) 5 The Gaze of the Other
Under Suspicion

Boris Groys

, Carsten Strathausen
Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the philosophical discourse on the gaze of the other. In Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre argues that we can have no proof and no certitude concerning our suspicion that the other pursues us with his gaze. For our own observations of the other are incapable of convincing us that he observes us exactly as we observe him. The gaze of the other is phenomenologically concealed from our own mode of seeing. We can detect this gaze only indirectly, through the feeling of shame we experience when we feel ourselves observed by the other—without, however, having this feeling “objectively” confirmed. In this case, shame is a specific kind of fear—the fear of the other's negative judgment about our person. Sartre also insists that it is only the presence of another human being in our immediate surrounding that provokes the feeling of being observed. In this case, media-ontological suspicion focuses on the medial surface called the human. This chapter also considers the views of Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida about the gaze.

Keywords:   gaze of the other, Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre, shame, fear, media-ontological suspicion, medial surface, human being, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida

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