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The Agent in Pain: Alienation and Discursive Abuse

Giladi, Paul (2020) The Agent in Pain: Alienation and Discursive Abuse. International Journal of Philosophical Studies. ISSN 0967-2559

Restricted to Repository staff only until 25 December 2021.

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My aim in this paper is to draw attention to a currently underdeveloped notion of pain and alienation, in order to sketch an account of the harms of ‘discursive abuse’. This form of abuse comprises systemic practices of violating a person’s vulnerable integrity as a knowing agent. Discursive abuse results in, what I would like to call, ‘agential alienation’. This particular genus of alienation, whose broad conceptual origins lie in the respective works of Hegel and the early Marx, involves an agent being robbed of their self-conception as a rational inquirer and participant in a deliberative public sphere. Such alienation causes a particular kind of pain for an agent that often has harrowing material effects.

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