Estrangement political philosophy and good life

Because people disagree in pluralistic societies about the nature of the good life, we should not try to base justice on any particular answer to that question. They reject teleology; they reject the idea of tying justice to some conception of the good. Rawls rejects teleological accounts of justice; it threatens the equal rights of citizens.

Estrangement political philosophy and good life

Consider, for example, the different views of modern class-divided society taken by Hegel and Marx. Marx can be characterised as diagnosing contemporary capitalist society as corresponding to situation i ; that is, as being a social world which contains both objective and subjective alienation.

On what we might call his standard view, Marx allows that objective and subjective alienation are conceptually distinct, but assumes that in capitalist societies they are typically found together sociologically perhaps with the subjective forms tending to track the objective ones.

However, there are passages where he deviates from that standard view, and—without abandoning the thought that objective alienation is, in some sense, more fundamental—appears to allow that, on occasion, subjective and objective alienation can also come apart sociologically.

At least, that is one way of reading a well-known passage in The Holy Family which suggests that capitalists might be objectively but not subjectively alienated.

Estrangement political philosophy and good life

In contrast, Hegel maintains that the modern social world approximates to something more like situation iii ; that is, as being a social world not containing objective alienation, but still containing its subjective form. That is, for Hegel, the social and political structures of the modern social world do constitute a home, because they enable individuals to realise themselves, variously as family members, economic agents, and citizens.

However, those same individuals fail to understand or appreciate that this is the case, and rather feel estranged from, and perhaps even consciously reject, the institutions of the modern social world. That Hegel and Marx diagnose modern society in these different ways helps to explain their differing strategic political commitments.

They both aim to bring society closer to situation iv —that is, a social world lacking systematic forms of both objective and subjective alienation—but, since they disagree about where we are starting from, they propose different routes to that shared goal.

For Marx, since we start from situation ithis requires that the existing world be overturned; that is, that both institutions and attitudes need to be revolutionised overcoming objective and subjective alienation.

The Frankfurt School is the colloquial label given to several generations of philosophers and social theorists, in the Western Marxist tradition, associated—more or less closely—with the Institute for Social Research founded in — Objective alienation still obtains, but no longer generates social conflict, since the latter is assumed—not implausibly—to require agents who feel, or experience, some form of hostility or rebelliousness towards existing social arrangements.

Let us assume that radical social change requires, amongst other conditions, an agent—perhaps a collective agent—with both the strength and the desire to bring that change about.

The role of alienation in helping to form that latter psychological prerequisite—the desire to bring about change on the part of the putative revolutionary agent—looks complicated. First, it would seem that objective alienation, as such, cannot play the motivating role, since it does not involve any feeling, or thinking about, or otherwise experiencing, the problematic separation here.

Second, the relation between subjective alienation and motivation looks more complex than it might initially seem.

Disclaimers

Note, in particular, that some of the experiential dimensions of subjective alienation look less likely than others to generate the psychological prerequisites of action here. In short, whether subjective alienation is a friend or an enemy of revolutionary motivation would seem to depend on the precise form that it takes.

Some interpretative generosity may be needed here, but I take it that existentialists think of something like objective alienation as a permanent feature of all human societies. What is essential to each individual is what they make of themselves, the ways in which they chose to engage with that other.

This also clarifies that situation iv —which contains systematic forms of neither objective or subjective alienation—is the social goal of some but not all of these authors of Hegel and Marx, for instance, but not the existentialists. Of course, iv might also be a characterisation of the extant social world according to a hypothetical, and over-optimistic, apologist for the present.

What Makes a Separation Problematic? Recall the earlier suggestion that accounts of alienation require some benchmark condition of harmony or connectedness against which separations might be assessed as problematic or not.

Historically, this role—identifying whether candidate separations are problematic—has often been played by accounts of our essential human nature. However, motivated by suspicion of that latter idea, theorists of alienation have sometimes sought alternatives to fulfil that role.

Estrangement political philosophy and good life

We can stipulate that the institutions and culture of this particular society are individualistic—in the sense that they systematically frustrate cooperation and sociability—and that the two theorists share many, but not all, of the same views.

In particular, assume that our two theorists agree: However, assume also that Katerina and Laura disagree about what comprises human nature. In particular, they disagree about whether cooperation and sociability are essential human characteristics; with Katerina insisting that they are, and Laura maintaining that they are not.

It seems to follow that Katerina will conclude, and Laura will deny, that this society is one containing alienation.Self-realisation being understood here as a central part of the good life, and as consisting in the development and deployment of an individual’s essential human characteristics.

However, assume also that Katerina and Laura disagree about what comprises human nature.

Political theory is the attempt to truly know both the nature (metaphysics) of political things and the right or good (ethics) political order. It is the study of the nature and ends of politics. • Political theory cannot be done alone; it's not an individual thing. Estrangement: Political Philosophy and Good Life Essay Words | 4 Pages man have a desire for life together, even when they have no need to seek each other's help. Jul 31,  · Thomas Hobbes believed that it is always better to have security rather than liberty in a country. He was therefore deeply opposed to the English Civil War –.

Philosophy C Final Paper The Human Being and Living The Good Life This paper contains the different definitions of what it means to be a human being and living a good life. In this paper we will take a look at Hobbes and Augustine’s definition of the human being and the good life. Jul 31,  · Thomas Hobbes believed that it is always better to have security rather than liberty in a country.

He was therefore deeply opposed to the English Civil War –. Political Theory & Ideology: People study guide by abbywhite28 includes 67 questions covering vocabulary, terms and more.

Quizlet flashcards, activities and games help you improve your grades. Political theory is the attempt to truly know both the nature (metaphysics) of political things and the right or good (ethics) political order.

Alienation (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

It is the study of the nature and ends of politics. • Political theory cannot be done alone; it's not an individual thing.

The good life is indeed their chief end, both communally and individually; but they form and continue to maintain a political association for the sake of life itself.

Perhaps we may say that there is an element of good even in mere living, provided that life is not excessively beset with troubles.

Politics: An Introduction to Aristotle’s Political Philosophy