Social Philosophy

Download Alienation by Rahel Jaeggi, Frederick Neuhouser, Frederick Neuhouser, Alan PDF

By Rahel Jaeggi, Frederick Neuhouser, Frederick Neuhouser, Alan E. Smith

The Hegelian-Marxist proposal of alienation fell out of style after the postmetaphysical rejection of humanism and essentialist perspectives of human nature. during this e-book Rahel Jaeggi attracts at the Hegelian philosophical culture, phenomenological analyses grounded in smooth conceptions of business enterprise, and up to date paintings within the analytical culture to reconceive alienation because the absence of a significant dating to oneself and others, which manifests in emotions of helplessness and the despondent recognition of ossified social roles and expectations.

A revived method of alienation is helping serious social thought have interaction with phenomena corresponding to meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference. through severing alienation's hyperlink to a complicated perception of human essence whereas protecting its social-philosophical content material, Jaeggi presents assets for a renewed critique of social pathologies, a much-neglected drawback in modern liberal political philosophy. Her paintings revisits the arguments of Rousseau, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger, putting them in discussion with Thomas Nagel, Bernard Williams, and Charles Taylor.

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The attention the theory of alienation pays to the problems of internal division, indifference, and loss of relation to self and world leads both philosophers to the theme of practical appropriation. Just as Kierkegaard understands “becoming oneself” in terms of appropriating one’s own actions and one’s own history—as a process of “taking hold of oneself in practice,” of actively taking possession of what alien forces have brought about—so, too, for Marx the idea of a productive appropriation of world and self functions as the model for unalienated existence.

Social institutions that confront us as rigid and alien are at the same time created by us. In such a case we are not—and this is what is specific to the diagnosis of alienation— master over what we (collectively) do. As Erich Fromm vividly puts it: [The bourgeois human being] produces a world of the greatest and most wonderful things; but these, his own creations, confront him as alien and threatening; although they have been created, he no longer feels himself to be their master but their servant.

Nevertheless, there are multiple points of overlap between these two strands of the theory of alienation (and not only with respect to their historical reception): Hegel’s diagnosis of internal division focuses on the fact that individuals cannot refind themselves in social and political institutions; Marx’s analysis of alienation in the 1844 manuscripts argues that in alienated labor we are unable to appropriate our own activity, its products, and the conditions of communal production; the existentialist-inspired conception of alienation points to the 10 THE RELATION OF RELATIONLESSNESS structural obstacles to individuals’ ability to understand the world as their own and to understand themselves as subjects that shape that world.

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