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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

“As If Through a Wall of Glass”

“As If Through a Wall of Glass”

Indifference and Self-Alienation

(p.131) 8 “As If Through a Wall of Glass”

Rahel Jaeggi

, Frederick Neuhouser, Alan E. Smith
Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on indifference as a kind of self-alienation and loss of self. Someone who is indifferent with respect to his/her (own) projects and plans, who cannot identify with anything, so the argument goes, is not only alienated from the world but also from himself/herself, since he/she “wins” himself/herself only through a meaningful relation to the world (and to one's projects and plans within it). The chapter explores the relation between self and world as well as the thesis that it is not possible to understand self-realization outside a successful relation to the world. It begins with an example that is interpreted within the context of the concept of self-alienation. It then distinguishes two aspects of alienation: detachment from one's practical involvement in the world and the loss of identification. Drawing on the ideas of Harry Frankfurt and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, it expounds on the problem of indifference—the ambivalence between freedom and loss of self—in order to determine how alienation is intertwined with the notions of freedom and indifference.

Keywords:   indifference, self-alienation, loss of self, self, world, self-realization, alienation, identification, Harry Frankfurt, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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