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By Rahel Jaeggi

The Hegelian-Marxist suggestion of alienation fell out of style in the course of the post-metaphysical rejection of humanism and essentialist perspectives of human nature. during this ebook Jaeggi attracts on phenomenological analyses grounded in smooth conceptions of organisation, 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 severe social thought interact with phenomena, reminiscent of meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference, that have huge implications for problems with justice. by way of severing alienation's hyperlink to a complex belief of human essence whereas conserving its social-philosophical content material, Jaeggi offers 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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Additional resources for Alienation (New Directions in Critical Theory)

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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.

24 Sartre (1991) has provided an illuminating (if chauvinistic) example of what it is to make oneself into a thing in his famous analysis of bad faith:25 a young woman responds to a suitor’s overtures by allowing her hand, which he has taken hold of, to remain in his grasp, but she does so passively and indifferently, as if she has not noticed the attempted overture. Her hand is no longer a part of herself; she is not in what she does, that is, she takes no part in her own action. That she, as Sartre puts it, “inertly” makes herself into a thing means that she denies her responsibility for what she does and for her reactions to what happens to her.

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. ” The world for existentialist ontology is a context that emerges in our practical dealings with it, in our practical “creations” of the world. Heidegger elucidates his idea of the environment (Umwelt) with his famous analysis of “equipment” (das Zeug): we use the hammer for hammering. This hammering serves us in the making of a chair, which in turn serves us (or someone MARX AND HEIDEGGER 17 else) for sitting.

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Alienation (New Directions in Critical Theory) by Rahel Jaeggi

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