Social Theory and Practice

Volume 47, Issue 2, April 2021

Jeppe von Platz
Pages 397-424

The Injustice of Alienation

I articulate and defend a Rousseauvian theory of alienation and argue that thus construed non-alienation is a requirement of justice. On the Rousseauvian account, alienation is a process whereby social and economic conditions produce a particular sort of moral-psychological failure (alienated persons). Alienation is undesirable in itself, but it also makes the alienated person miserable, wicked, and unfree. Since our social and economic conditions are chosen, we should choose those that do not have these undesirable consequences.