Towards a Critical Theory of Society (Volume 2) (Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse)

Towards a Critical Theory of Society (Volume 2) (Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse)

Herbert Marcuse

Language: English

Pages: 257

ISBN: 0415137810

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Through a rich collection of papers and letters, this book shows Marcuse at his most radical, focusing on his critical theory of contemporary society, his analysis of technology, capitalism, the fate of the individual, and prospects for social change in contemporary society.
ebook ISBN 0203206606

















interdisciplinary and dialectical thinker for whom philosophical categories are always mediated by political economy and social theory, while philosophy provides critical perspectives on all aspects of social life. Hence, Marcuse defends the categories of philosophy, even metaphysics, for critical social theory and presents an Aufhebung, or sublation, of philosophy into social theory while developing a philosophical social theory with practical intent. The project involved a reconstruction and

of domination and oppression, and he emerges in this narrative as a theorist of forces of domination and liberation. Deeply rooted in philosophy and the conception of social theory developed by the Institute for Social Research, Marcuse’s work lacked the sustained empirical analysis in some versions of Marxist theory and the detailed conceptual analysis found in many versions of political theory. Yet he constantly showed how science, technology, and theory itself had a political dimension and

master and slave. That is to say, the one is free because he has succeeded in making another man work for him; the slave is being-for-another – for the master. The master asserts and recognizes his freedom in and through his power to obtain from the slave the objects of his, the master’s needs and desires. The objects which he needs to satisfy his needs are provided him by the work of the slave, and only by the work of the slave. To these things which the master needs in order to be free the

cit. 8 Introduction by Hitler, the speech at the industrial club in Dusseldorf; it became known, and Horkheimer called the colleagues together, pointed to a newspaper article and asked what was so significant about this speech that we should make it the object of a more or less independent study. We discussed it and made the decision.”16 Marcuse’s argument is that the totalitarian state and its ideology respond to a new era of monopoly capitalism and provide a defense of capitalism against

as infantile anthropomorphism. Anthropomorphism indeed, but the Anthropos envisaged here is no other than the “socialist man”: the man who is no longer caught up in the mystification of the commodity world, in the global net of exploitation freedom would transform the object as well as the subject: “recognition” of the object (dependent on man’s transforming reason, and yet independent), not only material but element and “milieu” of freedom, of the life instincts rather than the destruction

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