Estrangement and Alienation in Ideology

  • John Torrance


Hegel, whose philosophy has bequeathed us the ‘problem of alienation’, was himself the heir to numerous ideological traditions. This chapter attempts a brief résumé of three of the most important of them — Judaeo-Christian religious ideology, the political ideology of seventeenth-century contract theorists, and the enlightenment’s ideology of education and culture, together with the counter-ideology of its critic Rousseau — from the standpoint of estrangement and alienation. The aim is to show how these two unit ideas were already interrelated in each, and how both common and divergent patterns of interrelationship emerge. Only the main outlines will be sketched in each case, no doubt superficially enough, and there is no claim that this represents a detailed or researched history of ideas or of intellectual influences, for which the reader must go elsewhere. At the same time, in order for the patterns which interest me here to stand out clearly, these traditions will have to be subjected to a certain amount of sociological and historical interpretation.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Seel W. Gough, The Social Contract (Oxford, 1957) Chs. 3, 4, 7 for examples.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    S. von Pufendorf, De Officio Hominis et Civis juxta Legern Naturalem, trans. F. G. Moore (New York, 1927) vol. II, p. 92.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    J. J. Rousseau, The Social Contract, Everyman ed. (London, 1913) p. 15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Torrance 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Torrance
    • 1
  1. 1.Hertford CollegeOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations