The concept of alienation in Contemporary Critical Theory (Jaeggi, Rosa) Cover Image

Le concept d’aliénation dans la Théorie critique contemporaine (Jaeggi, Rosa)
The concept of alienation in Contemporary Critical Theory (Jaeggi, Rosa)

Author(s): Daniel Weber
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Nakladatelství Karolinum

Summary/Abstract: This paper explores the recent transformations of the concept of alienation in contemporary Critical theory. Since Althusser and the “structuralist turn” in political and social philosophy, the concept of alienation has become problematic due to its (at least implicit) presupposition of a human essence from which one becomes alienated, an essentialism incompatible with any materialist philosophy. But is such a presupposition an inevitable feature of its conceptual framework? Is alienation not a phenomenon that continues to exist even if we reject the concept of it? In continuation of Axel Honneth’s reopening of the problem of social pathologies, Rahel Jaeggi and Hartmut Rosa have thus argued for a conceptual reconstruction of the theory of alienation free of any essentialist criteria in relation to which alienation would be determined. The present author wants to explore the critical potential and limitations of such a non-essentialist concept of alienation and examine one of its fundamental methodological presuppositions, the idea of an immanent critique.

  • Issue Year: 4/2014
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 81-98
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: French