The Critique of Loneliness

Dimitris Vardoulakis

in The Doppelgänger

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780823232987
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235698 | DOI:

Series: Modern Language Initiative

The Critique of Loneliness

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This chapter explores the origins of the word “Doppelgänger”. The word “Doppelgänger” was coined by the German Romantic author Jean Paul in his criticizism of the philosophy of Fichte and Kant. In the Doppelgänger's own words, the threat of the severance from particularity is identified as loneliness. Jean Paul's Doppelgänger illustrates that the move from the infinite to an actual place or setting is always curtailed, with the result that the subject is lost in the infinity of reason—in an absolute loneliness. This is what Nietzsche calls “the last man,” a placeless subject. In Jean Paul's view, the Doppelgänger is the relationality that establishes the subject's identity and difference. The chapter concludes that the liminality of the Doppelgänger and its dual relation to openness is reflected in the transformations introduced by the Doppelgänger.

Keywords: loneliness; Jean Paul; Fichte; Nietzsche; dual relation; transformation

Chapter.  24537 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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