Roberto Unger is wise. But mistaken.

This conception of our relation to our contexts [his] gives a new twist to one of the oldest and most puzzling themes of our civilization: the idea that man is the infinite caught within the finite. His eternal circumstances belittle him. His ardors and devotions are misspent on unworthy objects. An adherent to this view of our basic circumstances is hopeful when he thinks that this disproportion between the quality of our longings and the nature of our circumstances can be diminished. He is doubly hopeful when he thinks that the methods for diminishing this disproportion are the same as the means for cleansing our relations to one another of the characteristic dangers of subjugation and of disrespect for the originality in each of us.

Roberto Unger, Social Theory: Its Situation and Its Task, pg. 16-17.

Of course, he’s wrong, in that our ardors and devotions are themselves a part of our circumstances, biologically and socially created and limited and also unworthy of us, to the (somewhat unlikely) extent there is an us separate from those things of which things can be worthy. But he’s wrong in a nice way.


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