Review of Metaphysics 36 (1):165-167 (1982)

The main purpose of this book is to offer a comparative evaluation of the early works of Marx and Lukács, "these two most important texts of 'unorthodox' Marxism". Feenberg refers here to the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts on the one hand, and History and Class Consciousness on the other. At a somewhat more general level, Feenberg writes in defense of, or more accurately in preparation for a new stage in, the philosophy of praxis. To proceed directly to his conclusion, Feenberg's analyses culminate in the recommendation of a synthesis between Marx's concept of the internal relation between subject and object, or their participatory identity, and Lukács' mediation-theory of rationality, according to which reification is an intrinsic element at the dialectical level of reason, which is thus a mediation of nature on the one hand, and the subject-object relation on the other. In less complex terms, Feenberg recommends the development, from elements of Marxist and Lukácsian doctrines, of a "non-creationist concept of practice", i.e., one in which nature is not created by man, a concept that is also not pure objectivism, i.e., that prevents a complete identity of subject and object. Feenberg thus perceives the central problem in the early Marx and Lukács as one that links them more intimately with Absolute Idealism than his own analysis makes explicit. The "fundamental flaw in the philosophies of practice of Marx and Lukács" is, to put it as briefly and clearly as possible, that in these doctrines, man is still a creator-god.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1982361131
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