Download e-book for iPad: Alienation (New Directions in Critical Theory) by Rahel Jaeggi

By Rahel Jaeggi

The Hegelian-Marxist suggestion of alienation fell out of style through the post-metaphysical rejection of humanism and essentialist perspectives of human nature. during this booklet Jaeggi attracts on phenomenological analyses grounded in sleek conceptions of company, besides fresh paintings within the analytical culture, to reconceive of alienation because the absence of a significant courting to oneself and others, which manifests itself in emotions of helplessness and the despondent attractiveness of ossified social roles and expectations.

A revived method of alienation is helping serious social conception interact with phenomena, similar to meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference, that have huge implications for problems with justice. via severing alienation's hyperlink to a troublesome belief of human essence whereas maintaining its social-philosophical content material, Jaeggi presents assets for a renewed critique of social pathologies, a much-neglected main issue 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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Extra resources for Alienation (New Directions in Critical Theory)

Example text

Being alienated from something means having become distanced from something in which one is in fact involved or to which one is in fact related—or in any case ought to be. 4 Only if one presupposes a logically, ontologically, or historically prior relation is it possible to understand alienation as the loss of a relation. It is crucial for the structure of the concept that the relation or connection underlying alienation ought to exist, even if it ostensibly no longer does. When we speak, for example, of someone having become alienated from his family, we not only presuppose that she was not always foreign to it; it is also suggested that she in some way still belongs to her family or even that she belongs to it regardless of whatever real (actually lived) relation she has to it.

While the remark “you look sick” does not need to be followed by “and being sick is bad (for you),” the self-evident character of this connection rests on (shared) background assumptions: for example, a certain conception of health and sickness, as well as the idea that health is preferable to sickness. One might ask whether the concept of alienation does not depend in a similar way on ethical background assumptions—on a conception of what is destroyed or unachieved in the alienated condition, of what is absent but nevertheless desirable.

The whole material world becomes the monstrosity of a giant machine that prescribes the direction and tempo of his life. 1 In relations of alienation the feeling of impotence does not necessarily imply the existence of an actual power—an agent—that creates a condition of impotence. Typically the theory of alienation—whether in the form of Heidegger’s “They” or Marx’s analysis of capitalism—concerns itself with subtle forms of structural heteronomy or with the anonymous, dominating character of objectified relationships that appear to take on a life of their own over and against individual agents.

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Alienation (New Directions in Critical Theory) by Rahel Jaeggi

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