Download Agnes Heller: A Moralist in the Vortex of History by John Grumley PDF

By John Grumley

Agnes Heller is among the major thinkers to come back out of the culture of serious thought. Her notable highbrow diversity and output comprises ethics, philosophical anthropology, political philosophy and a idea of modernity and its culture.Hungarian by way of start, she used to be the best identified dissident Marxists in vital Europe within the 1960's and 1970's. due to the fact her pressured immigration she has held traveling lectureships worldwide and has been the Hannah Arendt Professor of Philosophy on the New university in manhattan for the final twenty years.This creation to her notion is perfect for all scholars of philosophy, political concept and sociology. Grumley explores Heller's early paintings, elaborating her relation to Lukacs and the evolution of her personal model of Marxism. He examines the following holiday with Marxism and the preliminary improvement of an alternate radical philosophy. ultimately, he explains and assesses her mature reflective post-modernism, a viewpoint that's either sceptical and utopian, that upholds a serious humanist standpoint simply because it evaluations modern democratic tradition.

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Extra resources for Agnes Heller: A Moralist in the Vortex of History

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Instead she argues that even his sparse and highly qualified use of the concept of necessity contradicted his own ontology of praxis, which implied the irreducibly alternative character of all human action. With hindsight we know that capitalism found ways to further develop the productive forces. In this light, the idea of an ontology of praxis and of communism as an explicit value choice had displaced belief in historical necessity within Marxist theoretical discussion. Heller even reckons with the possibility that there may be an alternative to communism.

It is hard to ignore the explosive political message contained in this reading. This defiant celebration of pluralism also permeates her substantive historical vision. She repeats the emphatic statements of the young Marx: ‘History has no goal’; its result is the consequence of the correlation of innumerable, uncoordinated individual and social goals. Individual activity plays itself out within a circumscribed domain of objective possibilities that condition a range of alternatives. These circumstances are both limits on the possible and the source material of human aims and aspirations.

This is the immediate product of the situation of the intellectual dissident in Eastern Europe bereft of any significant concrete social movement. In the light of the failure of the whole socialist experiment to transform everyday life, Heller was well aware of the importance of politics to bed down institutional change. 59 The very Stoic idea of a conduct of life evokes the dark historical times after the radical curtailment of public life, when political perspectives disappeared, leaving the individual to find her own meaning in personal conduct.

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