The relation to the other is not epistemological, but ethical, and the whole attempt to accomodate or account for the other within the confines of my experience already constitutes a breach of this fundamental ethical relation. The other is precisely that which cannot be the object of my experience in the sense of being completely manifest within it, and so cannot be construed as a phenomenon at all.
Since we are not yet fully comfortable with the idea that people from the next village are as human as ourselves, it is presumptuous in the extreme to suppose we could ever look at sociable, tool-making creatures who arose from other evolutionary paths and see not beasts but brothers, not rivals by fellow pilgrims journeying to the shrine of intelligence. Yet that is what I see, or yearn to see. The difference between raman and varelse is not in the creature judged but in the creature judging, and when we declare an alien species to be raman, it does not mean that they have passed a threshold of moral maturity. It means that we have.