For many liberals, the question "Do others live rightly?" feels inappropriate. Liberalism seems to demand a follow-up question: "Who am I to judge?" Peaceful coexistence, in this view, is predicated on restraint from morally evaluating our peers. But Rahel Jaeggi sees the situation differently. Criticizing is not only valid but also useful, she argues. Moral judgment is no error; the error lies in how we go about judging. One way to judge is external, based on universal standards derived from ideas (...) about God or human nature. The other is internal, relying on standards peculiar to a given society. Both approaches have serious flaws and detractors. In On the Critique of Forms of Life, Jaeggi offers a third way, which she calls "immanent" critique. Inspired by Hegelian social philosophy and engaged with Anglo-American theorists such as John Dewey, Michael Walzer, and Alasdair MacIntyre, immanent critique begins with the recognition that ways of life are inherently normative because they assert their own goodness and rightness. They also have a consistent purpose: to solve basic social problems and advance social goods, most of which are common across cultures. Jaeggi argues that we can judge the validity of a society's moral claims by evaluating how well the society adapts to crisis--whether it is able to overcome contradictions that arise from within and continue to fulfill its purpose. Jaeggi enlivens her ideas through concrete, contemporary examples. Against both relativistic and absolutist accounts, she shows that rational social critique is possible.--. (shrink)
"The overall aim of this book is to understand the character of moral progress, so that making moral progress may become more systematic and secure, less chancy and less bloody. Drawing on three historical examples - the abolition of chattel slavery, the expansion of opportunities for women, and the increasing acceptance of same-sex love - it asks how those changes were brought about, and seeks a methodology for streamlining the kinds of developments that occurred. Moral progress is conceived as pragmatic (...) progress, progress from rather than progress to, achieved by overcoming the problems and limits of the current situation. Two kinds of problems are distinguished: problems of exclusion, found when the complaints of some people are ignored; and problems of false consciousness, present when the oppressed adopt judgments from the ambient society and do not protest their condition. The proposed methodology advocates procedures for listening to voiced complaints and for systematically reviewing the way in which particular self-conceptions, ideals and identities are taken to be appropriate for various groups of people. Through outlining a picture of moral practice, at both the individual and the societal levels, the book seeks to orient moral philosophy away from metaethical questions of realism and towards moral methodology"--. (shrink)
In this book Jaeggi draws on phenomenological analyses grounded in modern conceptions of agency, along with recent work in the analytical tradition, to reconceive of alienation as the absence of a meaningful relationship to oneself and ...
What is the problem with capitalism? Is it wrong, unjust, irrational, or bad? Is it evil or dumb—or is it just not working? While critiques of capitalism have become commonplace—particularly since the most recent global economic crisis—it is often unclear what exactly is being condemned. Likewise, the normative presuppositions and criteria of such criticisms have been left unspecified. In this paper, I distinguish between three approaches to the critique of capitalism, distinguishing a functional, a moral, and an ethical argumentative strategy (...) and paying special attention to the distinctive types of argumentation they mobilize. First, I consider the “functional” critique, typically directed against capitalism's straightforward dysfunctions or crises. We will find, however, that this sort of criticism presupposes a normative criterion that is frequently unarticulated, namely: the implied “purpose” of a well‐functioning economic system. Second, I examine a common “moral” critique, that is, that capitalism is premised on exploitation. Yet, the concept of exploitation, too, introduces certain difficulties, since the kind of moral wrong associated with it—unequal exchange—is hardly obvious to everyday observation and must be derived systematically. Third, I introduce and address the “ethical” critique, broadly, that capitalism constitutes a bad form‐of‐life. However, while I object to some of the forms this criticism has taken—in particular, I argue that much “alienation” diagnosis is tainted by nostalgia and naiveté—I nonetheless recommend developing a critique of capitalism as a form‐of‐life that would include ethical and functional criteria. I conclude with some remarks in this direction. (shrink)
Books reviewed: Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850–2000. By Geoff Eley.. Foucault, Subjectivity, and Identity. By Robert Strozier.. Shifting Involvements: Private Interest and Public Action. By Albert O. Hirschman. Twentieth‐anniversary edition, with a new foreword by Robert H. Frank.
This article reads Adornos's Minima Moralia as an ethical critique of capitalism as a form of life. Negativistic in his approach Adorno reflects, at the same time, on the difficulty of establishing a positive standard for this critique. Reading Minima Moralia through the lenses of the contemporary debate I hold that his approach undermines the alternative between liberal abstinence towards ethical questions and paternalistic theories of the good life in a fruitful way.
What is the critique of ideology ? Two paradoxes seem to characterise the method of the critique of ideology. The first has to do with the fact that ideologies are “both true and false” . The second has to do with the fact that the critique of ideology seems to carry both a normative and a descriptive dimension. The article argues that these two paradoxes disappear when the critique of ideology is addressed by way of a Hegelian mode of immanent (...) critique. Such an approach highlights both the specific normative claim of the critique of ideology and the specific problematic which it exemplifies. (shrink)
Der Begriff der LebensqualitätLebenLebensqualität wird für eine Bewertung von Lebensabschnitten oder des Lebens einer oder mehrerer Personen verwendet, wobei die Lebensqualität sowohl positiv als auch negativ sein kann. Zur Lebensqualität trägt bei, was letzten Endes für eine Person gut ist; verwandte Begriffe sind die des WohlergehensWohlbefinden, Wohlergehen oder des GlücksGlückglückliches Leben (s. a. Lebensqualität). Der Maßstab für die Ermittlung von Lebensqualität ist der Lebensstandard.