Federica Gregoratto

Being at home elsewhere. Some thoughts on freedom and alienation

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Alienation; social liberty; institution; negativity; criticism.

This essay is aimed at exploring the intersections of two key-concepts of the Hegelian Critical Theory tradition, namely the categories of freedom and alienation. The concept of freedom at stake here relies on the idea of social freedom, according to which individuals can realize themselves within institutional life forms when they find themselves "at home" in being-with-others. To begin with, alienation can be defined as the social condition that prevents such self-realization. In the first two parts of the article, I analyze the criteria for the diagnosis of alienation, first, from a subjective and, second, from an objective perspective; that is, the analysis departs both from the point of view of the alienated subject and from that of an alienating ("inhabitable") form of life. In the third part, I try to show how social freedom and alienation are dialectical interwoven: while freedom requires alienation in order to be realized, alienation does imply a moment of freedom.

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