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

The Hegelian-Marxist proposal of alienation fell out of style after the postmetaphysical rejection of humanism and essentialist perspectives of human nature. during this publication Rahel Jaeggi attracts at the Hegelian philosophical culture, phenomenological analyses grounded in smooth conceptions of corporation, and up to date paintings within the analytical culture to reconceive alienation because the absence of a significant courting to oneself and others, which manifests in emotions of helplessness and the despondent attractiveness of ossified social roles and expectations.

A revived method of alienation is helping serious social thought interact with phenomena resembling meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference. via severing alienation's hyperlink to a tricky perception of human essence whereas conserving 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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This thesis has implications. One could even understand what distinguishes emancipatory from conservative diagnoses of alienation in the following way: the former focus on the expressive and creative power of individuals as acting beings, whereas the latter emphasize the loss of connection to a given meaningful order. My understanding of how the problem should be framed, however, rules out a nostalgic longing for premodern unalienated conditions—for the meaningful order of feudal relationships, for example; it also means that the conservative view, which traces alienation back to the overly demanding requirements of modern freedom and its lack of social bonds, is no longer plausible.

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. Formulated differently, the concept of alienation posits a connection between indifference and domination that calls for interpretation. The things, situations, facts, to which we have no relation when alienated do not seem indifferent to us without consequence.

Weber’s image of the iron cage, in which humans are imprisoned by a bureaucratized capitalist society; Simmel’s description of the “tragedy of culture,” in which the products of human freedom take on an independent existence as something objective over and against the human being; his analysis of how, with the spread of the money economy, freedom is turned into a loss of meaning—all fruitfully captured the phenomena that Lukács saw as “in the air” at the time. 20 2 MARX AND HEIDEGGER: TWO VERSIONS OF ALIENATION CRITIQUE IN WHAT FOLLOWS I WILL discuss Marx and Heidegger in further detail, viewing them as the sources of two historically important versions of alienation critique that overlap in multiple ways with respect to their influence.

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