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

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

The Hegelian-Marxist notion 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 sleek conceptions of organization, 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 severe social idea interact with phenomena similar to meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference. by means of severing alienation's hyperlink to a troublesome perception of human essence whereas maintaining its social-philosophical content material, Jaeggi offers assets for a renewed critique of social pathologies, a much-neglected difficulty 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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An alienated relation is a deficient relation one has to oneself, to the world, and to others. Indifference, instrumentalization, reification, absurdity, artificiality, isolation, meaninglessness, impotence—all 6 THE RELATION OF RELATIONLESSNESS these ways of characterizing the relations in question are forms of this deficiency. A distinctive feature of the concept of alienation is that it refers not only to powerlessness and a lack of freedom but also to a characteristic impoverishment of the relation to self and world.

The mutual dependence of civilized humans, their unlimited needs produced by social contact, and their finding their orientation in others give rise at once, according to Rousseau, to domination and enslavement as well as to a loss of authenticity and (self-) alienation—to a condition, in other words, directly opposed to the autonomy and authenticity of the state of nature, conceived as a condition of self-sufficiency. There are two apparently opposed ideas that have made Rousseau’s thought influential as a theory of alienation: first, the development of the modern ideal of authenticity as an undisturbed agreement with oneself and one’s own nature and, second, the idea of social freedom, as expressed in Rousseau’s formulation of the principal task of the Social Contract.

In other words, one does not identify with what one does. Instrumentalization, in turn, intensifies into utter meaninglessness: When Marx says that under conditions of alienation life itself becomes a means (“life itself appears only as a means to life”)7—what should be an end takes on the character of a means—he is describing a completely meaningless event, or, as one could 14 THE RELATION OF RELATIONLESSNESS say, the structure of meaninglessness itself. Formulated differently, for Marx the infinite regress of ends is meaninglessness.

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