<Hegelian dialectic, idealism, J.J. Rousseau, Marx, marxism>, <Feuerbach, H. Arendt, S. Weil, R. Luxemburg, capitalism>, <communism, political thought, philosophy of politics> (Ger. Entaeusserung or Entfremdung) extreme separation from one's own nature, from the products of one's labor, or from social reality, which often results in an indifference or outright aversion toward some aspects of life that might otherwise be attractive and significant. Hegel introduced the term, pointing out that human life, unless comprehended through the Absolute, easily becomes estranged from the natural world. Feuerbach, on the other hand, emphasized the dangerous practical consequences of an extreme detachment from one's own nature and activities. Marx carried this line of thought further, by noting that conditions in a capitalist society make it impossible for workers to live meaningfully in relation to each other, to the products of their labor, or even to themselves. Simone de Beauvoir and other feminist thinkers point out that women in a patriarchal culture undergo additional forms of alienation when they are pervasively treated as the objects of male sexual desire and effectively coerced into submitting to male-based political, social, and intellectual norms. Recommended Reading: Istvan Meszaros, Marx's Theory of Alienation (Merlin, 1986); Bertell Ollman, Alienation: Marx's Conception of Man in Capitalist Society (Cambridge, 1977); Arthur G. Neal and Sara F. Collas, Intimacy and Alienation: Forms of Estrangement in Female/Male Relationships (Garland, 2000).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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