A Return to the Philosophy of Praxis

A Review of The Philosophy of Praxis: Marx, Lukács and the Frankfurt School by Andrew Feenberg

in Historical Materialism
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I review The Philosophy of Praxis by Andrew Feenberg, firstly, presenting a critical yet sympathetic summary of Feenberg’s argument, developed via Marx, Lukács and Marcuse. Despite sharing Adorno’s and Marcuse’s dismissal of proletarian revolution, he finds aspects of Marx and particularly Lukács compelling. Upon this synthesis he builds his own philosophy. Secondly, I argue that Feenberg’s treatment of Lukács’s 1920s work is unparalleled and may counter the systematic distortion to which it has been subject. He defends Lukács’s ontology with respect to nature and his politics, countering the charge of authoritarianism. Finally, I suggest that Feenberg tends to elide the analysis of the state and politics in Marx and Lukács, and that this distorts his understanding of the latter. I suggest a Hegelian interpretation of Lukács’s concept of mediation by way of parallel with The Phenomenology of Spirit. I conclude by suggesting the implications of this disagreement.

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