In this paper I develop a phenomenology of falling ill by presenting, interpreting and developing the basic model we find in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness ( 1956 ). The three steps identified by Sartre in this process are analysed, developed further and brought to a five-step model: (1) pre-reflective experience of discomfort, (2) lived, bodily discomfort, (3) suffered illness, (4) disease pondering, and (5) disease state. To fall ill is to fall victim to a gradual process of alienation, (...) and with each step this alienating process is taken to a new qualitative level. Consequently, the five steps of falling ill have not only a contingent chronological order but also a kind of logical order, in that they typically presuppose each other. I adopt Sartre’s focus on embodiment as the core ground of the alienation process, but point out that the alienation of the body in illness is not only the experience of a psychic object, but an experience of the independent life of one’s own body. This facticity of the body is the result neither of the gaze of the other person, nor of a reflection adopting the outer perspective of the other in an indirect way, but is a result of the very otherness of one’s own body, which addresses and plagues us when we fall ill. I use examples of falling ill and being a patient to show how a phenomenology of falling ill can be helpful in educating health-care personnel (and perhaps also patients) about the ways of the lived body. (shrink)
Intimacy and Alienation puts forward the author's unique paradigm for psychotherapy and counselling based on the assumption that each patient has suffered a disruption of the `self', and that the goal of the therapist is to identify and work with that disruption. Using many clinical illustrations, and drawing on self psychology, attachment therapy and theories of trauma, Russell Meares looks at the nature of self and how it develops, before going on to explore the form and feeling of experience (...) when self is disrupted in a traumatic way, and focusing on ways towards the restoration of the self. Written in an accessible style from the author's singular perspective, Intimacy and Alienation will appeal to professionals in the fields of psychotherapy, counseling, social work and psychiatry, as well as to students and the lay reader. (shrink)
In this article, I explore select case studies of Parkinson patients treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) in light of the notions of alienation and authenticity. While the literature on DBS has so far neglected the issues of authenticity and alienation, I argue that interpreting these cases in terms of these concepts raises new issues for not only the philosophical discussion of neuro-ethics of DBS, but also for the psychological and medical approach to patients under DBS. In particular, (...) I suggest that the experience of alienation and authenticity varies from patient to patient with DBS. For some, alienation can be brought about by neurointerventions because patients no longer feel like themselves. But, on the other hand, it seems alienation can also be cured by DBS as other patients experience their state of mind as authentic under treatment and retrospectively regard their former lives without stimulation as alienated. I argue that we must do further research on the relevance of authenticity and alienation to patients treated with DBS in order to gain a deeper philosophical understanding, and to develop the best evaluative criterion for the behavior of DBS patients. (shrink)
Drawing from existentialism, feminism, the thought of Karl Marx and novelists like Dostoevsky, Richard Schmitt looks at modern capitalist societies to understand what it is that might be wrong for individuals. His concern focuses specifically on those who are alienated-- those persons who have difficulty finding meaning in their lives, who lack confidence in themselves and trust in others and, finally, who are constantly distracted by consumer society. He explores how and why alienation occurs. From friendship, love, and work, (...)Alienation and Freedom touches on issues meaningful to us all. (shrink)
Harry Frankfurt introduces the concept of externality. Externality is supposed to be a fact about the structure of an agent's will. We argue that the pre-theorethical basis of externality has a lot more to do with feelings of alienation than it does with the will. Once we realize that intuitions about externality are guided by intuitions about feelings of alienation surprising conclusions follow regarding the structure of our will.
I present a theory of alienation that accounts for the cognitive processes involved with moral thinking and political behavior in modern societies. On my account, alienation can be understood as a particular kind of atrophy of moral concepts and moral thinking that affect the ways individuals cognize and legitimate the social world and their place within it. Central to my argument is the thesis that modern forms of social integration—shaped by highly institutionalized, rationalized and hierarchical forms of social (...) life—serve to constrain the moral- cognitive powers of subjects leading to a condition of alienation as moral atrophy. This state results from the withering of the subject's internal powers of moral reflection and an overriding predisposition to rely on external value schemas to make sense of moral and political problems. I then present an analysis of alienated moral consciousness and its implications for modern social theory. (shrink)
In this article I ask how fruitful the concept of alienation can be for thinking critically about the nature and causes of the contemporary environmental crisis. The concept of alienation enables us to claim that modern human beings have become alienated or estranged from nature and need to become reconciled with it. Yet reconciliation has often been understood—notably by Hegel and Marx—as the state of being ‘at-home-with-oneself-in-the-world’, in the name of which we are entitled, perhaps even obliged, to (...) overcome anything in nature that is alien to the human mind. This approach to alienation derives ultimately from the German Idealist philosopher J. G. Fichte. I explore an alternative conception of alienation and reconciliation to be found in the work of the Early German Romantics, especially Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis. The Romantics think of reconciliation as including a dimension of alienation, in the form of an awareness that nature is greater than and exceeds the understanding of human beings, insofar as we are merely limited parts of the all-encompassing whole that is nature. I argue that this is a more fruitful approach to alienation and reconciliation than that pursued by Fichte, Hegel, and Marx. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against certain dogmas about ambivalence and alienation. Authors such as Harry Frankfurt and Christine Korsgaard demand a unity of persons that excludes ambivalence. Other philosophers such as David Velleman have criticized this demand as overblown, yet these critics, too, demand a personal unity that excludes an extreme form of ambivalence (“radical ambivalence”). I defend radical ambivalence by arguing that, to be true to oneself, one sometimes needs to be radically ambivalent. Certain dogmas about (...) class='Hi'>alienation are even more entrenched. Allen Wood’s entry on “alienation” in the Oxford Companion to Philosophy begins as follows: “A psychological or social evil, characterized by one or another type of harmful separation, disruption or fragmentation, which sunders things that belong together.” I think that it is not true that self-alienation is necessarily “harmful.” I argue that radical ambivalence is a form of self-alienation. Thus, because faithfulness to oneself sometimes requires radical ambivalence, to be true to oneself, one sometimes needs to be alienated from oneself. (shrink)
If “environment” means “that which environs us,” it isn’t clear why environmentalist thinkers so often identify it with nature and not with the built environment that a quick glance around would reveal is what we’re actually environed by. It’s a familiar claim that we’re “alienated from nature,” but I argue that what we’re really alienated from is the built environment itself. Typically talk of alienation from nature involves the claim that we fail to acknowledge nature’s otherness, but the built (...) environment is just as other from us as the natural one. And just as we are said to fail to recognize the role of nature as the origin of everything with which we have to do in the world, so too we fail to recognize the role of socially organized human labor in the objects that surround us. Overcoming alienation would require acknowledging the builtness and the sociality of the world we inhabit. (shrink)
The essays in this collection, which derive from the conference 'Alienation and Alterity: Otherness in Modern and Contemporary Francophone Contexts', held at the University of Exeter in September 2007, explore various aspects of this ...
L’article relève les occurrences du terme « aliénation » dans l’analyse hégélienne de la modernité propre à la Phénoménologie de l’esprit. Il analyse la signification du réseau terminologique et sémantique ainsi constitué au regard de la thématique ultérieure (par exemple marxienne) de la critique de la modernité.
This paper discusses Marx’s concept of alienated (or estranged) labour, focusing mainly on his account in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. This concept is frequently taken to be a moral notion based on a concept of universal human nature. This view is criticized and it is argued that the concept of alienation should rather be interpreted in the light of Hegelian historical ideas. In Hegel, alienation is not a purely negative phenomenon; it is a necessary stage (...) of human development. Marx’s account of alienated labour should be understood in similar terms. It is not a merely subjective discontent with work; it is an objective and historically specific condition, a stage in the process of historical development. Marx usually regards it as specific to capitalism. The criticism of capitalism implied in the concept of alienation, it is argued, does not appeal to universal moral standards; it is historical and relative. Overcoming alienation must also be understood in historical terms, not as the realization of a universal ideal, but as the dialectical supersession of capitalist conditions of labour. Marx’s account of communism as the overcoming of alienation is explained in these terms. (shrink)
Despite the ambiguities, even contradictions, that surround the term 'alienation' it has been much used and found useful, particularly at certain times. This paper provides a brief history and analysis of the term, exploring both its attractions to some, and the suspicions of others. The way in which the term is used and misused in educational research, and the ways in which the concepts which the term suggest could be developed, are also explored.
This paper offers a critical response to Fredrik Svenaeus’ use of the Heideggerian uncanny to analyse the experience of illness. It is argued that the uncanny is part of a culture of concepts through which the condition of modernity has been analysed by philosophers, social theorists, writers and artists. All centre upon the idea of alienation, and thus not being at home in the society that should be one’s home. This association will be exploited to offer a reinterpretation of (...) Svenaeus’ thesis as a sociological and political, rather than an ontological, one. By reviewing the work of Hegelian philosophers, Georg Simmel, and novelists, represented by Mann, Camus and McCullers, it will be argued that illness is bound up with social alienation, both as something that is caused by conditions of alienation and as an interpretative response to alienation. Seeing illness as a metaphor of the human condition in modernity allows the medical humanities to inform therapy, that would allow the patient to understand their illness, not as the ontological condition of Dasein, but rather as something mediated by modern social, economic and political conditions. (shrink)
An investigation of Handke's play by means of an analysis of the elements of the Tractatus, known to have influenced Handke at the time he wrote Kaspar. This approach yields a much more plausible account of Handke's representation of his central character's alienation than are available from now-standard semiotic and post-structuralist analyses.
Many philosopers and social theorists pursue the notion that recognition is a fruitful framework for engaging with a social analysis of moral and political life, and – more critically – that the failure of recognition is a feature of alienation. This article argues that the thrust of these arguments can be properly attuned by deploying a dual model of recognition that draws especially on Sartre’s work. Where there is struggle for recognition between subjects, the object of struggle is not (...) the recognition of identity, or even of difference, but the recognition of non-identity. The claim will be that this practical attitude of recognition designates inter-subjective attitudes that can institute normative practices whereby agents’ claims are motivated by the epistemic virtue of non-identity. (shrink)
Education is viewed as not merely a particular domain of social life. It is more a universal process than a mere learning of sciences and arts; it is richer than an individual's socialization. The educational democratization turns out to be a prerequisite of humanization of the entire social life. The orientation at the supreme humane values as a strategic direction of democratic evolution of education is opposed to the authoritarian tendencies as an “antivalue” of pedagogical relations.Being a significant step towards (...) a genuinely humane society, democratization is unable, however, to resolve the fundamental problem of human formation: that of alienation. The opportunity to resolve it is dependent upon proper conditions for a free self-determination of a personality in culture. (shrink)
The concept of alienation: Hegelian themes in modern social thought -- Creative activity and alienation in Hegel and Marx -- The concept of labour -- The individual and society -- Freedom and the "realm of necessity" -- Alienation as a critical concept -- Private property and communism -- The division of labour and its overcoming -- Marx's concept of communism.
Introduction -- Karl Marx's concept of alienation -- Objectification, alienation, and estrangement -- Other origins of alienation and objectification -- Marx's account of alienation : from early to late -- The alienated object of production : commodity fetishism -- The alienated means of production : machine fetishism -- Machines and the transformation of work -- Marx's energeticist turn -- The first law of thermodynamics -- From arbeit to arbeitskraft -- The second law of thermodynamics -- Machines (...) in the communist future -- Technology and the boundaries of nature -- Material wealth and value : the Grundrisse's fragment on machines -- The strife between technology and capital : the fall in the rate of profit -- Enjoyment not value : challenging the logic of exhaustion -- Man himself as fixed capital -- Class kinship and the redistribution of the means of production -- Machines in the capitalist reality -- Between thermodynamics and humanism : approaching capital -- Machinery as an historical category of production -- Machines, trains, and other capitalist monsters -- Rough, foul-mouthed boys : women's monstrous laboring bodies -- Wage labor and race -- Wage labor and sexuality -- Machinery and revolution -- Alienation beyond Marx -- Science and technology in Marx's excerpt notebooks -- Karl Marx and Charles Babbage -- Machines and temporality : the treadmill effect and free time -- Technophobia and technophilia -- Technophobia and twentieth-century theory. (shrink)
In this paper we attempt to prove that it was Ludwig Feuerbach’s anthropology that influenced Bakunin’s philosophical path. Following his example Bakunin turned against religion which manipulates, as Hegelianism does, the only priority human being has—another human being. Although Feuerbach’s philosophy did not involve social problems present at Bakunin’s works, we would like to show that it was Feuerbach himself who laid foundation for them and that Bakunin’s criticism of the state was the natural consequence of Feuerbach’s struggle for the (...) individual. Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin proved that Feuerbach’s attempts to rise anthropology to the rank of theology are not sufficient to free the individual from the power of abstractions as in his opinion it is not only God (religion) that should be overthrown but also the state. (shrink)
The concept of alienation is one of the most important and fruitful legacies of Hegel's social philosophy. It is strange therefore that Hegel's own account is widely rejected, not least by writers in those traditions which have taken up and developed the concept in the most influential ways: Marxism and existentialism.
In this article we argue that the worries about whether a consequentialist agent will be alienated from those who are special to her go deeper than has so far been appreciated. Rather than pointing to a problem with the consequentialist agent's motives or purposes, we argue that the problem facing a consequentialist agent in the case of friendship concerns the nature of the psychological disposition which such an agent would have and how this kind of disposition sits with those which (...) are commonly thought proper to relations of friendship. To the extent that we are right, then, the rejoinders which indirect consequentialists have offered to the problem of alienation are ill directed and so do not succeed in meeting the real problem. In articulating what we see as the source of the alienation problem which friendship poses for consequentialism, we also hope to clarify the general distinction between dispositions and motives and to show how certain kinds of guiding internalized normative dispositions help us to define and therefore distinguish between various types of relationships. Undertaking this task may also help to identify some of the crucial issues for an adequate moral psychology of friendship and its place in any plausible ethical theory. (shrink)
The evidence today is practically uncontested: about thirty years ago we left Fordism behind and entered a new phase of capitalism. That the structures of the post-Fordist social order call for new modes of social critique is also a prevalent idea. The category of alienation continues, however, to be discredited. Nevertheless it is not clear that the categories of democracy (as apparatuses of non-domination), justice and the good life are capable of bringing about the political effects that may be (...) expected today from the concept of alienation. For these reasons, not only the historical diagnostic that appears to have authorized jettisoning the problematic of alienation but also the model of critique used to replace it demand critical scrutiny. (shrink)
This essay argues that Merleau-Pontys phenomenological description of gestural motility in his Phenomenology of Perception contributes to, and in a material way carries forward, not only (1) the account of alienation that Marx proposes in his writings on the condition of manual labour, but also (2) the reflections, at once critical and utopian, that Marx set out in his 1844 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts , evoking in terms of praxis the realization and fulfillment of our sensuous nature as embodied (...) beings. It is also argued, here, that Merleau-Pontys critique of the philosophical accounts of gesture formulated by intellectualism and naturalism shows that, in spite of their differences, they are both ideologically constituted systems of thought that uncritically reflect, and consequently reproduce, the alienations and reifications to which Marx calls attention in his critique of capitalism. Thus, as long as the invisible hand of capital rules, the hands of the worker that exploitation has damaged - and indeed the fully realized hands of which Marx in his early years dreamed - will remain invisible. Key Words: alienated labour Marx Merleau-Ponty motor pathologies phenomenology reification. (shrink)
Durkheim's underdeveloped notion of fatalism is the keystone for a bridge between two conceptual categories central to Marxian and Durkheimian theory: alienation and anomie. Durkheim does not necessarily disagree with Marx that excessive regulation can be socially damaging but chooses to highlight the effects of under- regulation. A Durkheimian critique of overregulation becomes possible if we turn away from anomie and toward Durkheim's idea of fatalism-a concept that I will argue here is unexpectedly consistent with Marx's notion of (...) class='Hi'>alienation. We can infer that Durkheim presents us with a notion of an "optimal" human condition that exists between anomie and fatalism. The structure of modern societies, it will be argued, is characterized not just by excessive control leading to alienation or by a lack of integrative restraint leading to anomie but also by active efforts to optimally regulate social life. (shrink)
A well-known Hungarian philosopher, politician, literary and art theorist Georg Lukacs was a notable figure of philosophical thought in XX century. Although he was interested in many problems philosophical-aesthetical matter is the main one in all his works. The problem of human alienation from social forms is outlined in his numerous literary, philosophical, aesthetical works of pre- and post- Marxian periods. The concept of philosophical-aesthetical grounds for overcoming human alienation has been developed in his art from romantic feeling (...) of existential tragedy through the utopian expectancy of “aesthetic ideal” realization to the reliance on being conscious of individual blood nature through dialectic penetration of subjectivity and objectivity in the process of aesthetical perception. Thus he has the unaltered point of view that the art is a particular opposed to alien human nature sphere of being which allows taking away the dual principle of alien forms of human being and its essence. (shrink)
In this essay I argue that if Kantian and consequentialist ethical theories are vulnerable to the so-called “problem of alienation,” a virtue ethics based on Xunzi’s ethical writings will also be vulnerable to this problem. I outline the problem of alienation, and then show that the role of ritual ( li ) in Xunzi’s theory renders his view susceptible to the problem as it has been traditionally understood. I consider some replies on Xunzi’s behalf, and also discuss whether (...) the problem affects other Confucian and eudaimonian approaches to virtue ethics. I close by considering some solutions to the problem and the affect that this result has on the argumentative dialectic between the three major ethical traditions. (shrink)
In a recent paper in this journal Charles B. Saunders et al. argue that corporations have no social responsibility regarding alienation in the workplace in that there is no significant degree of alienation in the workplace, at least in white collar and management level positions in corporate America.Contrary to Saunders et al., this paper defines the concept of alienation. Having done that, it proceeds to show that the argument Saunders et al. make flounders on logical grounds. I (...) conclude that Saunders et al. provide no evidence for the claim that alienation is lacking (in any degree) in corporate America. (shrink)
Abstract While it has long been recognized that the concept ?alienation? plays a crucial role in Hegel?s Phenomenology of Spirit and indeed his overall philosophical project, too often commentators simply note its importance without providing an in-depth discussion of this important concept. I aim to remedy this by providing an extended discussion of the role that alienation plays in the phenomenological development of consciousness. To do so, I first, briefly, outline the project that Hegel undertakes in the Phenomenology (...) of Spirit, before undertaking an analytic of the concept ?alienation? to show that: (a) Hegel distinguishes between ?alienation as estrangement? (Entfremdung) and ?alienation as externalisation? (Entaüsserung); and (b) the two senses of the term are intimately, if differently, related to concepts such as objectivity and objectification. I then show that, while he recognizes that the experience of alienation may be an undesirable aspect of consciousness?s existence, Hegel maintains that experiencing a particular combination of the two senses of alienation allows consciousness to overcome its alienation. The conclusion drawn is that properly understanding Hegel?s subtle and multi-dimensional account of alienation provides us with insight into this concept, Hegel?s conception of consciousness, and his wider philosophical project. (shrink)
We have found that a sparse version of the claim that alienated labor is a bad thing can inform a political morality without turning that morality into one which makes more comment on people's ends than the liberal can accept. We have also seen that a modification of the ideas of alienation from our species being can play a limited role in a liberal political morality, but that the rational kernel of the critique from species alienation is already (...) a familiar part of the liberal tradition. However, the substantive view of the good life - as one which essentially involves engagement in communal ties and satisfying labor - cannot play the role which certainly many Marxists would like it to play in their critique of capitalism, at least if their critique is to be recognizably liberal. Why should it matter so much that Marxists be able to accommodate central liberal insights? It is not because a political morality has to be liberal in order to be successful in the real world: history and the contemporary world are full of examples of political views which command wide assent despite (or because of) their illiberality. But the foreseeable stages of a socialist society will be plagued by the circumstances of justice as they have been classically conceived. A socialism which is sufficiently better than capitalism to be worth the significant risk and sacrifice it is likely to require must be liberal in the sense that it can be regarded as defensible to each person who is actually subject to it. This does not require that it accommodate the greed of the greedy or the injustice of the unjust. But it does require that it not presume the unworthiness of the moral commitments of its reasonable citizens. 47. (shrink)
A definition of ?alienation? is proposed which is a rational reconstruction of the term as it is used in primarily moral contexts. Special attention is given to the Marxist tradition. It is argued that the earliest, moral form of Marx's economic determinism can be expressed in terms of the principle of the sufficiency of unalienated labor. In this connection four main kinds of alienation are distinguished. In the final section, it is argued that while ?alienation? has and (...) should have an important theoretical role in the context of moral discourse, social scientists, and in particular sociologists, would be better off if they eliminated ?alienation? from their scientific vocabulary. (shrink)
The publication of Marx's early writings has given us a perspective on the early development of socialistic thought that provides a clearer view of its connection with current discussion in philosophy and sociology. The link is the phenomenon of alienation, with which the early Marx was much concerned. In this article the author marks the distinctiveness of the two main current approaches to the alienation phenomenon, the ontological and the sociological, and suggests that the tension between Hegelian ontology (...) and empirical sociology in. the early Marx's analysis of the phenomenon reflects the strength rather than the weakness of this analysis as a contribution to the understanding of the human position. (shrink)
cs' mature theory of Hegelian Marxism has been criticized for the determinacy with which it predicts utopia as a possibility for the future. This paper instead examines Lukács' early, pre-Marxist thinking, which asserts utopia only as the grounding concept for a procedure of cultural criticism, and not as the outcome of any foreseeable process of social change. I attempt to evaluate this non-Marxist utopianism of the young Lukács by focusing in particular on 'The Foundering of Form Against Life: Søren Kierkegaard (...) and Regine Olsen', a 1910 essay in which Lukács criticizes Kierkegaard for failing to articulate any concept of utopia and for focusing instead on private 'faith' as a potential solution to the endemic problems of modernity, such as alienation and reification. Because young Lukács himself thus sets up Kierkegaard as a dystopian rival for his own utopian thought, I use a comparison between these two thinkers as a basis for speculation on the advantages and disadvantages of positing a normative concept of utopia as the basis for social criticism. Key Words: alienation faith reification subjectivity utopia. (shrink)
Rabindra Kanungo''s position that alienation at work can be eliminated within capitalism is critically evaluated. My argument is that Kanungo only emphasizes the psychological aspect of Marx''s view of alienation. The failure to include the ontological element of alienation results in the confused position that alienation can be eliminated while workers are still being separated from their work by capital. The role that the right to private property plays in the maintenance of this separation is also (...) seen to be a part of Marx''s conception of alienation that is missing from Kanungo''s analysis. The clarification of Marx''s conception of alienation results in the position that organizations within capitalism cannot live up to the moral imperative to be socially responsible in removing alienation at work. (shrink)