Other books byHerbert Marcuse
Eros and Civilization
A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud
In this classic work, Herbert Marcuse takes as his starting point Freud's statement that civilization is based on the permanent subjugation of the human instincts, his reconstruction of the prehistory of mankind - to an interpretation of the basic trends of western civilization, stressing the philosophical and sociological implications.
The Frankfurt School philosopher Herbert Marcuse (1898–1979) studied with Martin Heidegger at Freiburg University from 1928 to 1932 and completed a dissertation on Hegel’s theory of historicity under Heidegger’s supervision. During these years, Marcuse wrote a number of provocative philosophical essays experimenting with the possibilities of Heideggerian Marxism. For a time he believed that Heidegger’s ideas could revitalize Marxism, providing a dimension of experiential concreteness that was sorely lacking in the German Idealist tradition. Ultimately, two events deterred Marcuse from completing this program: the 1932 publication of Marx’s early economic and philosophical manuscripts, and Heidegger’s conversion to Nazism a year later.Heideggerian Marxismoffers rich and fascinating testimony concerning the first attempt to fuse Marxism and existentialism. These essays offer invaluable insight concerning Marcuse’s early philosophical evolution. They document one of the century’s most important Marxist philosophers attempting to respond to the “crisis of Marxism”: the failure of the European revolution coupled with the growing repression in the USSR. In response, Marcuse contrived an imaginative and original theoretical synthesis: “existential Marxism.”
Reason and Revolution
Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory
It is of the very definition of any "classic" work that it will not only introduce a new depth and direction of thought, but that its original insights endure. When it first appeared in 1940, Reason and Revolution by Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) was acclaimed for its profound and undistorted reading of Hegel's social and political theory. Today, the appreciation of Marcuse's work has remained high, more relevant now than ever before. In the rapidly changing context of post-Cold War political realities, there is no better guide than Marcuse to where we have been and to what we might expect. As he well understood, turbulent and spectacular political events always ran within channels earlier set by political theory; and he equally understood that it was Hegel's often unappreciated and misunderstood theory which actually set a fundamental path of modern political life. It is a fortunate combination to have a scholar of Marcuse's brilliance and lucid honesty addressing the sources and consequences of Hegel's social theory.
An Essay on Liberation
In this concise and startling book, the author of One-Dimensional Man argues that the time for utopian speculation has come. Marcuse argues that the traditional conceptions of human freedom have been rendered obsolete by the development of advanced industrial society. Social theory can no longer content itself with repeating the formula, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs," but must now investigate the nature of human needs themselves. Marcuse's claim is that even if production were controlled and determined by the workers, society would still be repressive—unless the workers themselves had the needs and aspirations of free men. Ranging from philosophical anthropology to aesthetics An Essay on Liberation attempts to outline—in a highly speculative and tentative fashion—the new possibilities for human liberation. TheEssay contains the following chapters: A Biological Foundation for Socialism?, The New Sensibility, Subverting Forces—in Transition, and Solidarity.