By Richard Schmitt
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Additional resources for Alienation And Freedom
Nietzsche Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Prussia in 1844, the son of a Protestant minister. The father died when Nietzsche was quite young and he was raised, together with his sister, by his mother, his grandmother, and two aunts. Early on he showed himself to be a brilliant student and, at only twenty-four years of age, became a professor of classics in Basel, Switzerland. Leaving his professorship in 1879, he spent the next ten years writing a number of books. In 1888 he suffered a nervous collapse from which he never recovered.
Their ideas, their values, their projects are their own in a literal sense; they owe no one and need not feel gratitude to anyone. This identiﬁcation of strength, the ability to lead one’s own life and to resist alienation, with being a solitary human being has a long history. It is still popular among philosophers who imagine themselves as the captains The History of the Concept of Alienation 37 of their ships and the masters of their soul. It is nevertheless in error, as we shall see in detail in the next chapter.
All these admonitions presuppose the human capacity to devise new ways of life and actually adopt them. Marx refers to this ability of humans to remake their lives after rethinking them as our “species being”:“The animal is one with its life activity. . But man makes his life activity itself an object of his will and consciousness” (Marx 1963:127). Capitalist wage work, he tells us, alienates us from this capacity to direct our lives in ways we have chosen for ourselves. Workers impoverished, oppressed by their employers, with very few opportunities for healthful leisure, for reﬂecting about their lives and altering those lives, cannot really participate in the human enterprise of thinking about the good life and making their lives conform to their ideas.
Alienation And Freedom by Richard Schmitt