The Budapest School

Beyond Marxism


The Budapest School: Beyond Marxism represents the first systematic and comprehensive study of the post-Marxist writings of the Budapest School to be published in English. The School itself has long been known in English-speaking circles for its neo-Marxist critique of the now-defunct Soviet system. The Budapest School: Beyond Marxism enriches this understanding by situating the confrontation with ‘actually existing socialism’ as but one moment, however formative, within a much richer and much more theoretically relevant philosophical itinerary. From the early critique of alienation through to the contemporary critical theories of modernity, The Budapest School: Beyond Marxism charts the evolution of the School’s thinking with a specific emphasis on the themes of culture, critique, history and the contingency of modern subjectivity.

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J.F. Dorahy received his Ph.D. from The University of Sydney in 2018. He is the author of numerous essays in the field of contemporary Critical Theory. He is presently a sessional Tutor at several universities in and around Sydney.
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Part 1: The Early Budapest School and the Critique of Alienation

1 ‘Back to Marx!’
 1 Marxism and Philosophy
 2 Work as the Species-Activity of Man
 3 Freedom and Universality in History
 4 Alienation and the Marxist Theory of Revolution
 5 On the Phenomenology of Everyday Life
 6 Individuality as the Unity of the Particular and the Universal
 7 The Budapest School’s Marxist Humanism: Critical Reflections
 8 Prague ’68 and the Search for a Critical Theory

Part 2: György Márkus: From the Critique of Production to The Philosophy of Culture

2 Márkus Contra Marx: Production, Economy and the Problem of Historical Teleology
 1 Philosophical Debates in Post-War Critical Theory
 2 The Paradigm of Production: A Conceptual Analysis
 3 Reification and the Antinomies of Production
 4 On the Utopian Character of Marxian Socialism
 5 Culture and Enlightenment

3 Marxism, Modernity and The Dynamics of Culture
 1 Marxism and Culture (I)—The Base/Superstructure Metaphor
 2 Marxism and Culture (II)—The Theory and Practice of Ideology Critique
 3 Towards a Pragmatics of Cultural Production
 4 On the Autonomy of Culture
 5 The Arts, Sciences, and the Paradoxical Unity of Modern Culture
 6 The Dynamics of Cultural Modernity: Enlightenment and Romanticism
 7 On the Aktualität of Márkus’ Post-Budapest Project

Part 3: Agnes Heller and Ferenc Fehér: Reflexive Stages in a Post-Marxist Radicalism

4 Towards a New Form of Historical Consciousness
 1 The Confusion of Historical Consciousness
 2 Philosophy of History as the Consciousness of Reflected Universality
 3 The Antinomies of Universal History (I): Historicity and Universality
 4 The Antinomies of Universal History (II): Freedom and Necessity
 5 Marxism and History
 6 Between Science and Critique
 7 Reflected Generality as a Task, or, the Imperatives of Postmodernity

5 Multidimensional Modernity
 1 Modernity, Socialism, and Democracy
 2 Three Logics of Modernity? Some Critical Remarks
 3 The Essence of Modernity (I): The Dynamics of Modernity
 4 The Essence of Modernity (II): The Modern Social Arrangement
 5 Excursus: Is Heller a Convergence Theorist?
 6 Heller, Heidegger and the Modern Imagination
 7 Conclusion: Modernity and Redemption

6 Contingency, Choice and Dissatisfaction
 1 The Dissatisfied Society
 2 Reflective Postmodernism: A Preliminary Account
 3 ‘On the Railway Station’
 4 Contingency as Infinite Possibility
 5 From Contingency to Destiny
 6 To Become What One Is: Heller on the Physiognomy of Existential Choice
 7 Satisfaction Beyond the Choice of the Good
 8 On the Meaning of Heller’s Postmodern Radicalism

The Budapest School: Beyond Marxism will be of interest to undergraduate students, post-graduate researchers and specialists working within the field of Eastern European critical theory.
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