CHAPTER IX

False and untenable positions

I. INDUCED BY SELF

Nam in omni actione principaliter intenditur ab agente, sive necessitate naturae sive voluntarie agat, propriam similitudinem explicare; unde fit quod omne agens, inquantum huiusmodi, delectatur, quia, cum omne quod est appetat suum esse, ac in agendo agentis esse quodammodo amplietur, sequitur de necessitate delectatio…Nihil igitur agit nisi tale existens quale patiens fieri debet.

DANTE1

One speaks of being in a false position, or in an untenable position. Persons put themselves and others, and are in turn put by others, into false or untenable positions. In developing a theory of alienation in this sense, one will be wise to give ear to two sets of colloquialisms which point to the position one can put oneself or the other into, and to the position one may be put in by others. It is everyday common-sense knowledge that a person

1 ‘For in every action what is primarily intended by the doer, whether he acts from natural necessity or out of free will, is the disclosure of his own image. Hence it comes about that every doer, in so far as he does, takes delight in doing; since everything that is desires its own being, and since in action the being of the doer is somehow intensified, delight necessarily follows…. Thus, nothing acts unless by acting it makes patent its latent self.’ As quoted and translated by Arendt (1958, p. 175).

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Self and Others
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface to Second Edition ix
  • Preface to First Edition xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Part One - Modes of Interpersonal Experience 1
  • Chapter I - Phantasy and Experience 3
  • Chapter II - Phantasy and Communication 18
  • Chapter III - Pretence and Elusion 29
  • Chapter IV - The Counterpoint of Experience 39
  • Chapter V - The Coldness of Death 53
  • Part Two - Forms of Interpersonal Action 63
  • Chapter VI - Complementary Identity 65
  • Chapter VII - Confirmation and Disconfirmation 81
  • Chapter VIII - Collusion 90
  • Chapter IX - False and Untenable Positions 107
  • Chapter X - Attributions and Injunctions 132
  • Appendix 154
  • Selected Bibliography 161
  • Index 165
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