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Chapter 10 is dedicated to Friedrich Engels, who studied in Berlin at the beginning of the 1840s. The chapter explores Engels’ short monograph entitled Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy. In this work he gives a critical evaluation of German philosophy and speaks with nostalgia of the important role of Hegel and Feuerbach for the development of his thought and that of his collaborator Karl Marx. Engels claims that the radical nature of Hegel’s philosophy lies in its dialectical methodology. While it might at first glance look like Hegel is attempting to glorify the actual, in fact his theory shows that everything that arises in history appears at a specific place and under specific circumstances, and in time everything grows old and decays, at which point it is replaced by something new that is better suited to the new situation. This is a recipe for criticism and revolution. It is argued that Marx and Engels also further develop Hegel’s idea of self-conscious and alienation into a theory of class consciousness.
This chapter is dedicated to Hegel’s student Ludwig Feuerbach. It begins by giving an overview of Feuerbach’s life and writings. The main focus of the chapter is Feuerbach’s most famous work, The Essence of Christianity. Feuerbach tries to argue that it is a mistake to think of God as an objective, transcendent entity that is fundamentally different from human beings, as is traditionally done in theology. Instead, God is simply the essence of what is human projected onto an external entity. For this reason he refers to his undertaking not as theology or philosophy of religion but as anthropology; that is, a study of the human. It is shown that Feuerbach takes up the key Hegelian concepts of recognition and alienation. We take God to be something different and other, but in fact he is a reflection of our self-consciousness. Humans are alienated from their own positive qualities, which they have denied to themselves in order to project them onto God. Humans are thus not separated from something else or other but rather from themselves or their own nature. Feuerbach’s plea is that we restore our energy and efforts to ourselves by, for the first time, dedicating them to ourselves.
Chapter 2 introduces Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion and offers an analysis of his account of the story of the Fall from Genesis. Here Hegel develops his discussion of alienation, since the Fall is a story about how humans are alienated from themselves. It shows that alienation is a fundamental fact of human existence and not just something contingent. The chapter also introduces Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of History and presents his analysis of the alienation that was characteristic of the Roman Empire. Hegel points out that the schools of Roman philosophy—Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Skepticism—can all be seen as reactions to this. An account is given of Hegel’s analysis of Christianity, which he sees as overcoming this alienation. At the end of his lectures, Hegel claims that his own time in the 1820s has certain elements in common with the Roman Empire, when the world of culture had lost its meaning and people fell into a state of alienation and despair. Later thinkers were generally dissatisfied with Hegel’s view that it was sufficient simply to understand the nature of the contemporary crisis. They demanded a more active approach to the world.
Chapter 7 explores the thought of the Danish philosopher and writer Søren Kierkegaard. It gives a close reading of the chapter “The Unhappiest One” from the first part of Either/Or. Kierkegaard brings up Hegel’s idea of the unhappy consciousness for comparison, thus signaling the importance of the concept of religious alienation. A discussion is also given of Kierkegaard’s critical assessment of his own age in his work A Literary Review of Two Ages, which was published on the eve of the Revolutions of 1848. Finally there is an analysis of Kierkegaard’s account of the nature of the alienated human being in The Sickness unto Death. An overview is given of his system of the forms of despair of which humans are victims. The chapter concludes with a comparison of the concept of alienation in Kierkegaard and Hegel.
Chapter 3 is dedicated to Hegel’s student, the poet Heinrich Heine. It provides an account of Heine’s life and his personal relations to figures such as Hegel and Marx. An analysis is given of Heine’s On the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany, with specific attention paid to the role he ascribes to Hegel. Heine portrays Kant and Fichte as philosophers of the revolution and Schelling as the philosopher of the Restoration. If Schelling is the villain, then Hegel is the hero of the story of German philosophy that Heine wants to tell. Hegel is portrayed as the high point of the development of the revolution of German thought. Heine compares the revolution of the mind that took place in Germany with the French Revolution that took place in the real world. He predicts a great German revolution that will begin a new period in European history. An interpretation is given of Heine’s poem “Adam the First,” which takes up some of the motifs from Hegel’s analysis of the Fall. An account is also given of Heine’s “The Silesian Weavers,” a poem written on occasion of the rebellion of weavers in Silesia in Prussia in 1844.
Chapter 1 begins with an overview of Hegel’s life. This chapter offers an introduction to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and explains the role of the work vis-à-vis what Hegel calls “science.” The work is intended to refute different forms of dualistic thinking. A close reading of his analysis of the lord and the bondsman and the unhappy consciousness from the “Self-Consciousness” chapter is given. Hegel’s account of intersubjective recognition is explored. Self-consciousness is our awareness of ourselves in contrast to our awareness of objects. We like to think of ourselves as independent individuals. We know who we are, regardless of what the circumstances are or what others might think of us. But Hegel goes through a series of arguments to refute this view of common sense. He demonstrates that our awareness of ourselves is in fact dependent on other people. It is argued that the Phenomenology can be read as a book primarily about alienation. At each level in the work, there is some kind of other that confronts the human mind. The goal is to work through these different conceptions and overcome them by showing the deeper, hidden unity.
This chapter looks at the enduring influence of Hegel on the philosophy of the nineteenth century, especially his ideas of alienation and recognition. Variations of these ideas can be found explicitly or implicitly in all of the thinkers examined in this study and appear in a number of different contexts in addition to philosophy: religion, history, politics, literature, poetry, etc. This shows that the seed that Hegel planted in The Phenomenology of Spirit and later in his Berlin lectures in the 1820s continued to grow through the subsequent decades. This chapter shows that, starting with him, all the thinkers discussed in this study believed there to be an important crisis in their time. An overview is given of their different diagnoses of the nature of this crisis and its causes. A key feature in all of these is the role of alienation in modern life in various spheres: religion, politics, economics, art, etc. Likewise, an account is provided of the various solutions they proposed. Finally, an attempt is made to demonstrate that these issues carry over into the twentieth century, where they are taken up and further expanded upon by philosophers and social scientists.
Chapter 6 is dedicated to the work of the young Karl Marx. It begins with an analysis of Marx’s “Introduction to the Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,” which reveals the influence of both Hegel and Feuerbach. Marx sees his own work as continuing the criticism of religion that Feuerbach explored and expanding it to the social-political sphere. A close reading is given of the different kinds of alienation that Marx identifies in the “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts,” which use Hegel’s Phenomenology as the point of departure. An account is given of the polemic between Marx and his one-time friend Bruno Bauer, which is played out in The Holy Family, a work coauthored by Marx and Engels. Finally an analysis is provided of The German Ideology with its polemic with the Young Hegelians and its theory of alienation.
The Introduction presents the philosopher G. W. F. Hegel and raises questions about the influence of his Berlin lectures in the 1820s. A remarkable generation came to learn from him, which included figures such as Ludwig Feuerbach, Bruno Bauer, Max Stirner, David Friedrich Strauss, and Heinrich Heine. After his death a second generation of students came to Berlin and were inspired by his legacy. Among these were Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Søren Kierkegaard, Ivan Turgenev, and Mikhail Bakunin. All of these thinkers testify to the special intellectual atmosphere in Berlin that arose in connection with Hegel’s philosophy both during his lifetime and in the decades after his death. The present work takes as its point of departure the intellectual milieu at the University of Berlin, which was the fountain of inspiration that nourished the leading figures of the age. The introduction defines Hegel’s concepts of alienation and recognition, which are taken as the guiding themes for a study of philosophy in the nineteenth century. A handful of critical theses are sketched.
Chapter 5 is dedicated to a study of Hegel’s controversial student Bruno Bauer. An account is given of Bauer’s life and his relations with Hegel, Marx, Engels, and others. The chapter gives a close reading of Bauer’s Christianity Exposed. This work was immediately banned by the Prussian government, which confiscated the book from the bookstores and tried to destroy the entire print run. Bauer explains that the work is about the atheistic Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, which, he claims, has recently seen a revival. Bauer explains his idea of “modern criticism,” by which he means that the proper philosophical view should not just be critical of specific things but rather should issue a universal criticism, sparing nothing, regardless of how sacred it might be. Bauer argues that alienation is a necessary feature of religion. He holds Christianity responsible for the undermining of freedom, equality, and love. Bauer notes that religious sects must also persecute any form of critical or independent thinking. Religion thus demands that individuals sacrifice their faculty of reason, which amounts to their very humanity.
The remarkable lectures that Hegel gave in Berlin in the 1820s generated an exciting intellectual atmosphere which lasted for decades. From the 1830s, many students flocked to Berlin to study with people who had studied with Hegel, and both his original students, such as Feuerbach and Bauer, and later arrivals including Kierkegaard, Engels, Bakunin, and Marx, evolved into leading nineteenth-century thinkers. Jon Stewart's panoramic study of Hegel's deep influence upon the nineteenth century in turn reveals what that century contributed to the wider history of philosophy. It shows how Hegel's notions of 'alienation' and 'recognition' became the central motifs for the era's thinking; how these concepts spilled over into other fields – like religion, politics, literature, and drama; and how they created a cultural phenomenon so rich and pervasive that it can truly be called 'Hegel's century.' This book is required reading for historians of ideas as well as of philosophy.
In his philosophical writings, Marx develops a conception of self-realization which includes a conception of positive liberty. Based on his critique of deontological ethics and law he rejects the idea that negative liberty is sufficient to realize emancipation and to overcome alienation. In the central concepts of Marx's philosophical anthropology (alienation, recognition, species being), a conception of positive liberty is integrated which will be made explicit here. In the third part of my chapter, it is shown that in his program of a critique of political economy Marx also uses a conception of positive liberty as a guiding principle. In the fourth part, the way in which Marx's conception of positive liberty fits into a philosophical tradition that can be labeled as "post-kantian perfectionism" is discussed. In the final fifth part, two fundamental problems in Marx's conception are considered and it will be shown why and in which sense the conception of positive liberty identifiable in Marx is systematically still important (if some philosophical corrections need to be made).
The city's 'Americanness' has been disputed throughout US history. Pronounced dead in the late twentieth century, cities have enjoyed a renaissance in the twenty-first. Engaging the history of urban promise and struggle as represented in literature, film, and visual arts, and drawing on work in the social sciences, The City in American Literature and Culture examines the large and local forces that shape urban space and city life and the street-level activity that remakes culture and identities as it contests injustice and separation. The first two sections examine a range of city spaces and lives; the final section brings the city into conversation with Marxist geography, critical race studies, trauma theory, slow/systemic violence, security theory, posthumanism, and critical regionalism, with a coda on city literature and democracy.
The 1937 manifesto “Blueprint for Negro Writing” is typically regarded as a programmatic articulation of the literary and aesthetic principles for the kind of socially engaged literature Richard Wright believed a modern Black writer ought to produce. This reading of the text assumes, however, an internally coherent argument that it does not entirely warrant. Indeed, I argue that the “Blueprint” is substantially haunted by a fear of alienation and isolation that tends to undermine its purportedly communalist politics. When read in the context of the vexed coterie politics of Dorothy West’s New Challenge magazine where it first appeared, as well as the edits and alternative draft notes in the archive, Wright’s attitude assumes a far more doubtful, and even vulnerable posture. This revised understanding of a key document in Wright’s oeuvre opens it—and by extension the early fiction as well—to new directions in Wright scholarship, especially those concerned with the intersection of race, affect, and alienation.
Contrary to the claims that global justice is for the benefit of victims of conflict, I propose that victims are exploited as the faces of global justice. The construction and reproduction (and normalising) of an ‘ideal victim’ brand is discussed. This chapter illustrates how the value of the victim rises or falls depending on how many marketable attributes the victim fulfils. The use and re-use of such attributes to define victimhood deepens and institutionalises existing stereotypes of a feminised, infantilised, and racialised notion of victimhood. The decision as to who is a perpetrator and who is a victim is presented, therefore, as reflecting political and economic power. Not only is the commodification of victimhood discussed, but also the alienation of victims as they inhabit notions of ‘ideal’ victimhood.
This article applies Paul Tillich's existentialist analysis of the human predicament, particularly what it means to exist and to be fallen, to social media. I argue that social media heightens feelings of alienation and estrangement, supporting this claim with evidence from empirical research in psychiatry and communication studies. Thus, I offer an application of a Tillichian approach to an area of culture previously unexamined in this way. I identify three primary ways in which social media exacerbates existentialist emotional states: (1) social media allows us to construct artificial versions of ourselves through the use of filters and photo editing software; (2) it provides the means to quantify social approval in groups the size of which the human brain has not evolved for; (3) it extends the size of our social networks but decreases the quality of interactions. Social media is yet to receive significant philosophical or theological engagement despite its prevalence, particularly within younger generations. I argue that this is a mistake – philosophy has a duty to engage with such a ubiquitous feature of modern life.
Between 1958 and 2016, the French Caribbean novel is resoundingly about the French Caribbean, less invested in dislocation and displacement—a number of novels of the 1960s and 1970s do focus on the alienation of exiled female protagonists in Africa and France—than in grounding, naming, reclaiming, bringing home. This foregrounding of the local acquired particular political urgency in the wake of departmentalisation (1946), which sparked a process of decreolisation that was accelerated through the French education system and media in subsequent decades. The urge to explore and validate home ground, and to preserve and celebrate Creole memory, becomes more explicit from the late 1980s, and reaches its fullest articulation in the Eloge de la créolité (1989). Despite accusations of nostalgia, even very contemporary novels look to the past, often celebrating a waning Creole culture. That such novels are usually set after Abolition (1848), and that so few novels place slavery front and centre of the narrative, does not, however, mean that the story of slavery is ignored, marginalised or irrelevant. The discontinuity between the overwhelming extra-literary presence of slavery (in interviews with novelists, and in their cultural/media work), and its relative diegetic absence, is more apparent than real: almost all Antillean fiction is haunted by this absent-presence, and can only be fully understood through it.
Diderot and Rousseau were friends and then enemies, and they were also both major writers of the Enlightenment. They argued that human nature should be understood and valued, and they argued against anything that constrained it, as they considered that all suffering was destructive. Fiction was part of their argumentative arsenal, and perhaps even the tool they felt was most effective, as it works through the imagination on the emotions. 'Natural' reactions of dismay or distress at injustice or cruelty could 'enlighten' the reader at an emotional and therefore natural level, and create new ways of seeing that rejected harsh convention and promoted natural morality. This chapter tracks these aspects through their fictional and non-fictional works, showing how central they are to all their writing. We also look at the friendship of these two writers, and at the publication history of their fictional work.
This was part of a speech delivered by E Phelan, a British civil servant in the Ministry of Labour and later the director of the International Labour Organization (ILO) (1941–1948), in support of the creation of the ILO. For Mr Phelan, inserting ‘labour’ in the Treaty of Versailles was a success so wonderful that it could only be fathomed through the realm of the mystical and the fantastic. For the first time, and through the ILO, workers would be represented as voting members of an international institution through the innovation of tripartism. Almost like the anthropomorphic characters of Alice in Wonderland, the working class, at least theoretically, came to have a voice in the machineries of international labour policy.
Following the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea, per Evelyn O’Callaghan, Jean Rhys held a singular and pre-eminent position as the most widely known and systemically surveyed anglophone woman writer, but despite her literary project of decolonization, various critics describe the position of Rhys and her text as initially and continuously contested. Indeed, the ‘absence’ of women writers during the male-dominated nationalist period as well as their later emergence in the USA accounts for African American genealogies of Caribbean women’s writing advanced by scholars such as Carole Boyce Davies and Belinda Edmondson. Attention to Rhys’ insider/outsider ambiguity in that nationalist literary era evinces her influence on subsequent Caribbean writing, however, and an examination of works by Caribbean writers, spanning both of what Donette Francis refers to as the ‘second’ and ‘third waves’, suggests that writers consistently return to Rhys’ iconic novel not only as an ur-narrative of place, space, and identity for the anglophone Caribbean female subject but also as a source of what Elaine Savory dubs Rhys’ ‘productive contradictions’ as a literary foremother. This essay thus examines Rhys’ work and the complexities of its reception diachronically in conversation with some of these writers, assessing its manifold genealogical impacts both in its time and the present. Writers discussed include Jean Rhys, Marlon James, Derek Walcott, Lorna Goodison, Robert Antoni, Michelle Cliff, Elizabeth Nunez, and Kamau Brathwaite.