Alienation (New Directions in Critical Theory) by Rahel Jaeggi

By Rahel Jaeggi

The Hegelian-Marxist concept of alienation fell out of fashion throughout the post-metaphysical rejection of humanism and essentialist perspectives of human nature. during this e-book Jaeggi attracts on phenomenological analyses grounded in smooth conceptions of business enterprise, besides fresh paintings within the analytical culture, to reconceive of alienation because the absence of a significant dating 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 have interaction with phenomena, corresponding to meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference, that have vast implications for problems with justice. by means of severing alienation's hyperlink to a difficult perception of human essence whereas preserving its social-philosophical content material, Jaeggi presents assets for a renewed critique of social pathologies, a much-neglected crisis 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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In contrast to Marx, Heidegger does not conceive of the human’s relation to the world as a process of production. Rather than starting from the idea of the world’s being produced through labor, Heidegger begins with an analysis of a prior “being-in-the-world,” which leads him to what can be regarded as an existentialist version of Marx’s thesis of the priority of praxis. 16 Heidegger’s analysis of being-in-the-world serves as the background for his critique of objectification or reification. One can summarize Heidegger’s basic intuition as follows: the world is not given to us as something that exists prior to our relating to it—after the fact, as it were—in knowledge or action.

Understood in this way, alienation is not simply a problem of modernity but also a modern problem. A SHORT HISTORY OF THE THEORY OF ALIENATION One could give a (very) short history of the modern theory of alienation as follows: 1. ”11 The disfigurement Rousseau speaks of here is the deformation of human beings by society: with his nature divided, alienated from his own needs, subjected to the conformist dictates of society, in his need for recognition and with his sense of self-worth dependent on the opinions of others, the social human being is artificial and disfigured.

3 Thus alienation denotes relationlessness of a particular kind: a detachment or separation from something that in fact belongs together, the loss of a connection between two things that nevertheless stand in relation to one another. 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.

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