Peripatetic Alterity

by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey


Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists is intended to raise awareness of our perception and hopes to show how a change in it can improve the life of every individual as well as reduce domestic and international social tension.

To understand the worldview described in this treatise, it is necessary to create a construct that allows for distinctions to be made between different types of people, with each type being endowed with certain beautiful, advantageous characteristics that are largely exclusive to that type. Neither of these types or their various gradations may be based on nationality, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual identity, political party, religious affiliation, or other traditional categories preserving the status quo of widespread frustration.

The foundation for these archetypes was laid through experience in America, Germany and Russia, as well as extensive exposure to both rural and urban life in these countries and close relations with diverse ethnic groups in them. Before it is possible to grasp the bias in our perception, we must understand the characteristics of these two opposite (but not opposing) groups.

These archetypes are referred to as pragmatists and romantics.

Once the defining characteristics of these two types have been conceptualized, we gain access to the structure underlying our perception and can see how it is shaped by pragmatists.

While there is nothing particularly wrong with pragmatists, there is something wrong with a world or society dominated by one group at the expense of the other. Worse than domination, the values of this one group have become so intertwined with our way of thinking that it leads to feelings of inferiority, anger, dissatisfaction or even more negative states when someone deviates from them (by nature, circumstance or choice). It does not and should not have to be that way.

As we show in this book, the alternative of romanticism is a beautiful option that offers experiences and sides of life never known to pragmatists.

Finally, to prevent this knowledge from being restricted to the academic and intellectual sphere, it is necessary for a respected and influential field to assume responsibility for expanding our understanding of the essential equality between romantics and pragmatists. At the same time, the public must replace their sources of knowledge with work in the field spearheading this movement. That field is literary fiction and its readers.

It all starts with understanding…