By Rahel Jaeggi

The Hegelian-Marxist inspiration of alienation fell out of fashion throughout 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 supplier, 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 reputation of ossified social roles and expectations.

A revived method of alienation is helping severe social thought interact with phenomena, similar to meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference, that have large implications for problems with justice. by way of severing alienation's hyperlink to a troublesome notion of human essence whereas protecting its social-philosophical content material, Jaeggi presents assets for a renewed critique of social pathologies, a much-neglected challenge 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 info for Alienation (New Directions in Critical Theory)

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If in the Second Discourse Rousseau vividly describes the alienated character of (as he sees it there) the exclusively negative effects of socialization, he also, in the Social Contract, invents the normative ideal of an unalienated form of socialization. Without wanting to deny the tensions internal to Rousseau’s work, one could describe the connection between the two ideas as follows: the gap between authentic selfhood and society that Rousseau so eloquently articulated gives rise, in accordance with his own presuppositions, to an aporia that can be resolved only by establishing a condition in which individuals live within social institutions that they can experience as their own.

In other words, the conservative critique of alienation conceives of (modern) freedom as the cause of alienation, whereas the emancipatory critique views alienation as a form of unfreedom. 24 THE RELATION OF RELATIONLESSNESS AT ONCE ALIEN AND ONE’S OWN: STRUCTURAL HETERONOMY Second, if alienation is a form of powerlessness and impotence, then the theory of alienation concerns itself with both more and something other than straightforward relations of domination. What we are alienated from is always at once alien and our own.

First, the contrast between appropriation and alienness posits a connection between two problems that is far from obvious: the loss of meaning, the impoverishment and meaninglessness of the world, on the one hand, and impotence, or powerlessness in relation to the world, on the other. Second, in this central text we can see the specific twist Marx gives to the problem of a relationlessness between human being and world: the scandal of alienation is that it is alienation from something the self has made.

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Alienation (New Directions in Critical Theory) by Rahel Jaeggi


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