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Set 16 of Verso's Radical Thinkers series.On the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx's birth, four titles that consider the life and works of Karl Marx.
A social and philosophical analysis of the nature of modernity which explores its vulnerability in terms of the challenges to the political, economic and moral institutions in the late 20th century. The papers presented in this volume aim to provide a statement of the author's position.
From Marx's varying and passing interpretations of a theory of need, Agnes Heller unravels the main tendencies and demonstrates the importance which Marx attached to the "restructuring" of a system of needs going beyond the purely material.
This is a comprehensive analysis of the main dynamics of modernity which discusses the technological, social and political elements of modernism, and analyzes the works of Hegel, Marx, Weber, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Arendt.
This work covers the Shakespearean ouvre from a philosophical perspective, finding that Shakespeare's historical dramas reflect issues and reveal puzzles which were later taken up by philosophy proper.
A Theory of Feelings examines the problem of human feelings, widely understood, from phenomenological, analytic, and historical perspectives. It begins with an analysis of drives and affects, and pursues the nature of 'feeling' itself, in all of its variability, through a close study of the distinctive categories of emotions, emotional dispositions, orientive feelings, and the passions. As such, the starting point of the anlysis entails an examination of the characteristics of human involvement, or our ways of being in the world. Building upon this assessment of the conditions of human involvement, the philosophical history and emotional economy characteristic of modern relationships is treated, and the nature of expression, social division, suffering, and responsibility is evaluated in light of the theory of feeling presented here. The book is recommended to anyone interested in philosophy, psychology, sociology, and cognitive science.
The main purpose of this book is to explicate the problematic relationship between the heterogeneity of what is experienced as beautiful and the homogeneity of the conceptualization of that experience, or attempt at such a conceptualization in the era of modern philosophy. While the heterogeneity of what is experienced as beautiful was permitted, and indeed celebrated, in the dominant ancient conception-for example, in the Symposium and Phaedrus of Plato-the need for homogenization in the later appropriation of Plato and in the Enlightenment period relegated the beautiful to the privileged domain of artworks. In her analysis Agnes Heller provides a unique and significant emphasis on the original life content of the experience of the beautiful, which becomes lost in the modern system of the arts. This book details the history of the concept of the beautiful, starting with what Agnes Heller distinguishes between the warm metaphysics of beauty and the cold one-inspired by Platos Janus-faced relationship to beauty-and ending with a fragmented yet hopeful vision propagated by Friedrich Nietzsche, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno, among others. In between these two historical parentheses-the metaphysical Plato on one hand and the post-metaphysical Nietzsche, Benjamin, and Adorno on the other hand-lay a plenitude of figures and intellectual developments, all of which contributed to the demise of the concept of the beautiful in the Western metaphysical tradition. The most important of these figures and developments are examined in this book.
Immortal Comedy is the first book to 'think' philosophically about the comic phenomenon in general. Although author Agnes Heller had written a book that is both deeply scholarly and meditative on the subject of the comic form in film, literature, and life her writing is eminently approachable. In both its subject and style, Immortal Comedy is a seminal book. In it, Heller takes us on a journey through theories of comedy beginning with classical thought. She then detours through foundational political thinkers who refer to, for instance, laughter and power. We are also introduced to modern systematic approaches to thinking comedy, psychological approaches, and existential approaches. The discerning combination of Heller's individual taste for the pantheon of comedic work and, also, what critics may consider 'less significant' work gives this book a character apart from all others. It is the detail with which Heller makes her discussion, how and where she locates 'the comic,' and probably most significantly her discussion of comedy and our own lives that makes Immortal Comedy a principal book for the entire range of humanities scholars and enthusiasts.
A Short History of My Philosophy is an autobiographic account of Agnes Heller's intellectual and academic career. While the narration mainly traces the development of ideas, we also learn how they occurred in the context of challenging life circumstances. Agnes Heller presents the life of her ideas is four stages: the first, 'years of apprenticeship,' details both the pre- and post-Hungarian revolution period during which she studied under Gyrgy Lukcs; the second, 'years of dialogue,' describes the relationships of the 'Budapest school' in terms of their shared work and contributions; the third, 'years of building and intervention,' gives insight into important works written while living in Australia, along with Agnes Heller's political engagements during this period; and finally, the fourth, 'years of wandering,' describes the various projects Agnes Heller has undertaken as a world-traveler at conferences since the departure of her late husband, Ferenc Fehr.
Hvad binder os sammen som europæere? Er det muligt for de europæiske nationalstater at finde en fælles identitet? Og må den identitet nødvendigvis være på bekostning af resten af verden – af de ”fremmede”? Ágnes Heller, en af det 20. og 21. århundredes mest betydningsfulde europæiske filosoffer, gennemlevede en af de mest dramatiske og voldelige perioder i kontinentets historie. I sit livs sidste tre essays leverer hun en glasklar analyse af, hvorfor Europa står i vejen for sig selv, og stiller en række afgørende spørgsmål til Europas fortid, nutid og fremtid. ANMELDELSER: “En af Europas mest beundringsværdige filosoffer og dristige systemkritiker.” – Judith Friedlander
The basic discoveries underlying Marx's critique of political economy - labour power, surplus value, use value - are all in some way built upon the concept of need. From Marx's varying and passing interpretations of a theory of need, Agnes Heller unravels the main tendencies and demonstrates the importance which Marx attached to the "e;restructuring"e; of a system of needs going beyond the purely material. She also brings out those aspects, especially the idea of "e;radical needs"e; which point to revolutionary activity and to the project which Marx could only foresee but which for us today is of real urgency: the "e;society of associated producers"e;. Thus Agnes Heller's study is not only the first full presentation of a fundamental aspect of Marx, but the basis for a discussion of the utmost contemporary relevance.
The Time Is Out of Joint handles the Shakespearean oeuvre from a philosophical perspective, finding that Shakespeare's historical dramas reflect on issues and reveal puzzles which were taken up by philosophy proper only in the centuries following them. Shakespeare's extraordinary handling of time and temporality, the difference between truth and fact, that of theory, and that of interpretation and revelatory truth are evaluated in terms of Shakespeare's own conjectural endeavors, and are compared with early modern, modern, and postmodern thought. Heller shows that modernity, which recognized itself in Shakespeare only from the time of Romanticism, found in Shakespeare's work a revelatory character which marked the end of both metaphysical system-building and a tragic reckoning with the inaccessibility of an absolute, timeless truth. Heller distinguishes the four stages found in constantly unique relation in Shakespeare's work (historical, personal, political, and existential) and probes their significance as time comes to fall 'out of joint' and may be again set aright. Rather than initially bestowing upon Shakespeare the dubious honorary title of philosopher, Heller probes the concretely situated reflections of characters who must face a blind and irrational fate either without taking responsibility for the discordance of time, or with a responsibility which may both transform history into politics, and set right the time which is out of joint. In the ruminations and undertakings of these characters, Shakespeare's dramas present a philosophy of history, a political philosophy, and a philosophy of (im)moral personality. Heller weighs each as distinctly modern confrontations with the possibility of truth and virtue within a human historical condition no less multifarious for its momentariness.
Doomsday or Deterrence? argues against the majority of premises and conclusions of the antinuclear argument as existed in 1986 when this study was first published. Feher and Heller's study claims that social changes are important to curb technology trends that lean toward the construction of nuclear weapons, as well as using the 'West' as its own value that needs to be defended and emphasising the importance of understanding the true feelings behind the antinuclear argument. This title will be of interest to students of politics and international relations.
First published in 1985, this book provides a stimulating series of inter-connected essays which address the theme of shame, which, unlike the problem of conscience, has been seldom discussed by moral philosophers. The essays focus on the ethical regulation of human action and judgement, examining both its constant and varying elements and concentrating on contemporary types of moral regulation. Professor Heller uses Aristotelian categories, such as the good life, in her discourse to present a new conception of rationality, distinguishing between shame regulation and conscience regulation of moral conduct, and arguing that shame regulation cannot be completely overcome even in an age of rationalism.
This book, first published in 1984, examines the politics and philosophy of ordinary men and women, and their ordinary transactions. It analyses the interaction between the individual and the social, both for the roots of everyday behaviour and for the means to change the social fabric. Using an approach that combines Marx, Husserl, Heidegger and Aristotle, Agnes Heller defines categories such as 'group', 'crowd', 'community', and deals with characteristics of everyday life such as repetition, rules, norms, economics, habits, probability, imitation. She also analyses everyday knowledge, and concludes by looking at the place of personality in everyday life.
Considering such witnesses of the time as Shakespeare, Dante, Petrarch, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Montaigne, More and Bacon, Agnes Heller looks at both the concept and the image of a Renaissance man. The concept was generalised and accepted by all; its characteristic features were man as a dynamic being, creating and re-creating himself throughout his life. The images of man, however, were very different, having been formed through the ideas and imagination of artists, politicians, philosophers, scientists and theologians and viewed from the different aspects of work, love, fate, death, friendship, devotion and the concepts of space and time. Renaissance Man thus stood as both as a leading protagonist of his time, one who led and formulated the substantial attitudes of his time, and as one who stood as a witness on the sidelines of the discussion. This book, first published in English in 1978, is based on the diverse but equally important sources of autobiographies, works of art and literature, and the writings of philosophers. Although she uses Florence as a starting point, Agnes Heller points out that the Renaissance was a social and cultural phenomenon common to all of Western Europe; her Renaissance Man is thus a figure to be found throughout Europe.
This radical analysis of the role and importance of historiography interprets the philosophy and theory of history on the basis of historicity as a human condition. The book examins the norms and methods of historiography from a philosophical point of view, but rejects generalisations tht the philosophy of history can provide all the answers to contemporary problems. Instead it outlines a feasible theory of history which is still radical enough to apply to all social structures.