The Meaning, Value, and Possibility of Being at Home in the Social World
AuthorSciaraffa, Stefan Carlo
Committee ChairChristiano, Thomas
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractConsider the following Hegelian idea: It is important that we be at home in the social world, and it is deeply problematic if we are not. In this dissertation, I employ concepts of contemporary vintage to specify the meaning of the Hegelian notions of the social world, being at home in the social world, and being alienated from it. I also explicate the value of being at home in one's world and the conditions under which being at home in this manner is possible. This dissertation proceeds in six chapters. In the first chapter, I describe the social world as comprising social institutions and social roles. I argue that being at home in the social world entails identifying with one's roles and institutions. In the second chapter, I argue that an agent realizes the values of meaning and self-determination through pursuing her social roles. Thus, the value of being at home in the social world is that when the world is a home and one perceives it to be such, one can realize the values of meaning and self-determination through participating in its institutions. Moreover, I argue that when one identifies with one's role one thereby has a further weighty reason to conform to the duties that constitute the role--namely, by so doing one achieves the goods of meaning and self-determination. In chapters three through five, I consider whether it is possible to identify with and experience roles characterized by authority structures as homes. Chapters three and four specify the notion of an authority structure. In chapter five, I enumerate the conditions under which an agent can be at home in an authority-claiming institution. In short, I argue that the key conditions are that the institution's authority is justified and that the agent identifies with the institution and her role within it. Finally, in chapter six I develop an implication of chapter four's discussion of authority for the debate in analytic jurisprudence between the proponents of exclusive and inclusive legal positivism. In short, this discussion supports inclusive legal positivism and weighs against exclusive legal positivism.