Posts tagged ‘existential alienation’

September 4th, 2012

The Nature of Alienation

by Max Andrews

Once the philosopher finds himself participating in and engaged with the world, he will also find himself in a state of alienation.  Alienation is primarily two-fold:  an alienation from the self and alienation from the world.  It is the philosopher’s goal and, as Hegel may agree, the purpose of the philosopher.  The separation of the Geist is really an underlying notion that plagues philosophical inquiry.  Philosophy… does not merely discuss alienation; it is a peculiarly significant manifestation of it.  With this very simple and subtle premise, the very notion and presence of philosophical inquiry entails a separation from absolute mind, Geist.  It is certainly consistent that the philosopher lives in a state of alienation and philosophizing is contingent upon being in a state of alienation, for if Geist were an actuality all reality would be understood. Hence, the philosopher’s attempt to provide a reconstruction of reality and thus providing a purpose and need to overcome alienation.

Alienation from others and from the world is ultimately an alienation from the self as well.  Human anthropology, according to Hegel, is a man-to-man function.  Participation in the world is participation in all of mankind and humanity.  Any action is for the contribution of man.  For Hegel, this was religion at its highest, a religion of Nature.