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Rahel Jaeggi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231151986

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231151986.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Living One’s Own Life

Living One’s Own Life

Self-Determination, Self-Realization, and Authenticity

(p.199) 10 Living One’s Own Life

Rahel Jaeggi

, Frederick Neuhouser, Alan E. Smith
Columbia University Press

This chapter deals with the set of problems surrounding the concept of alienation. Against the backdrop of the negative foil of self-alienation, it examines the relations between freedom, self-determination, and self-realization and critiques the romantic conception of authenticity using a model of self-realization derived from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx. It argues that alienation is not coextensive with heteronomy, and that the capacity to have oneself at one's command or to be accessible to oneself in what one does depends on more than self-determination. In support of this argument, the chapter shows how the perspective of self-alienation leads via a formal concept of self-determination to a material conception that points in the direction of what might be called self-realization. It first considers the relationship between alienation and heteronomy, and between autonomy and alienation, before turning to a discussion of a conception of self-realization that is understood as the capacity to give oneself reality in the world in a self-determined way. It then challenges contemporary ideas of romantic authenticity by engaging with the views of Richard Rorty.

Keywords:   alienation, self-alienation, freedom, self-determination, self-realization, authenticity, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx, heteronomy, Richard Rorty

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