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Lukács, in his central text of History and Class Consciousness, and its central essay “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat,” in particular, points . This book reads Georg Lukács’s History and Class Consciousness through the drafts of his unfinished philosophy of art (the so-called “Heidelberg Aesthetics”). Keywords: Lukács; Heidegger; Authenticity; Reification; Ontology. 1. Lukács on reification and Marxian alienation. Engels invented classical Marxism in Ludwig.

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The more highly developed it becomes and the more scientific, reifiation more it will become a formally closed system of partial laws. Of course, this isolation and fragmentation is only apparent.

But at the same time, form is necessary for life to become intelligible and unified see Bernstein Its essence can be summarised as the belief that the content of law is something purely factual and hence not to be comprehended by the formal categories of jurisprudence. Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of In Schmollers jahrbuch,p. And this development of the commodity to the point where it becomes the dominant form in society did not take place until the advent of modern capitalism.

Lukacs’ theory of reification and contemporary social movements – Andrew Feenberg

By this he wants to emphasize the normative foundations of a socialist alternative to existing society, instead of obscuring them in a philosophy of history. He connects the discourse of alienation and reification, anchored as it is in the contemporary living world and contemporary scientific discourses, with the lives of contemporary humans, who are living in the realm of tension between personhood, role identity, the striving for self-actualization, and the requirement of self-marketing.

But we cannot discuss this further here. That is at the core of the radical quality of this approach, which links the critique of individual phenomena with the question of the system as a whole.


The finished article ceases to be the object of the work-process. Although the Frankfurt School works in a period of reaction, it remains bound by the demands of philosophy of praxis. This page was last edited on 20 Novemberat Tailism and the DialecticsS. On closer examination the structure of a crisis is seen to be no more than a heightening of the degree and intensity of the daily life of bourgeois society. Bourgeois thought, however, endorses this facticity and sees every possible normative stance only as a subjective projection onto a world of immediate facts.

Later, relfication judged this transcendence inadequate, still internal to positions they uncompromisingly rejected in elaborating their mature outlook. In that event the real, material substratum of the law would at one stroke become visible and comprehensible. The revolutionary bourgeois class refused to admit that a legal relationship had a valid foundation merely because it existed lukcas fact.

The party orthodoxy, however, was not quite so enamored.

Georg Lukács’ Theory of Reification and the Idea of Socialism

Autonomy takes place rwification only in the form of heteronomy. He—and this, one will need to bear in mind during the following remarks—considers his studies in dialectics and their practical intentions about reification as a fresh impulse and as a large-scale research project.

The primacy of the social totality not only affects the Marxist method, but also the conception of practice and the underlying social ontology: It is only a definite social relation between men that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things.

But such a transcendence is unthinkable for a social group. A New Look at an Old Idea. It is obviously not possible here to give an analysis of the whole economic structure of capitalism. By contrast, the organic unities of pre-capitalist societies organised their metabolism largely in independence of each other.

The structural similarity is so great that no truly perceptive historian of modern capitalism could fail to notice it. In favour of this compatibility, however, Honneth sacrifices essential aspects of the paradigm.


In contrast to other members of the government, he was not executed but merely expelled from the communist party, which he only rejoined in By many of those who were looking for a sophisticated Marxist philosophy, History and Class Consciousness was judged to be a supremely important book as for example by Karl Korsch and Ernst Bloch, see Bloch While on all three levels, entities appear as fixed objects, their real essence is always that of interrelated, irreversible processes GW On this point see Section Ill.

The war waged against the revolutionary bourgeoisie, say, at the time of the French Revolution, was dominated to such an extent by this idea that it was inevitable that the natural law of the bourgeoisie could only be opposed by yet another natural law see Burke and also Stahl.

Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat by Georg Lukacs

However, there is a deeper connection: This consciousness remains only an objective possibility, always threatened by the seductions of the immediate consciousness.

The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. He worked and reificattion in intellectual circles in Budapest, Berlin where he was influenced by Georg SimmelFlorence and Heidelberg. As Fichte and Hegel recognize, this problem arises only because modern thought takes the contemplative subject of reified self-world relations as its paradigm, ignoring the alternative of an active subject that is engaged in the production of the content.

This tragic Weltanschauung only exists in periods of societal disintegration where individual emotions and objective facts are in a relation of mismatch so intense that they elicit heroic forms of the denial of social reality.