After Thoughts: Beyond the ‘System’

Political and Cultural Lectures by Agnes Heller


This book is a collection of recent lectures by Agnes Heller, delivered all over the world. These essays are edited and introduced by the author of the most significant intellectual biography of her work, John Grumley. In these lectures, Heller engages one of her greatest strengths: to discover philosophy within the very flux of contemporary events. These bring together such timely topics as refugees, human rights, truth in politics and the contemporary university as well as perennial issues like the possibility of artistic representation of the Holocaust, the question whether revolutions are always betrayed, and the possibility of universality in the contemporary multicultural world.

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Agnes Heller† (1929–2019) was one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. She published over 40 books and over 300 articles.
John Grumley, Ph.D. (University of Sydney, 1986) is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. He has published two single-authored books, five edited books and journals and over forty single-authored articles in international journals in the main areas of critical theory, biopolitics, and social and political philosophy. His published monographs are History and Totality (Routledge, 1989, 2017) and Agnes Heller: A Moralist in the Flux of History (Pluto Press, 2005). Director of the Márkus Archive.


part 1: Political

1 Are All Revolutions Betrayed?

2 Truth in Politics

3 Progress, Regress and Human Rights

4 Cosmopolitanism as Philosophy, Refuge, and Destiny

5 Are There Obligations without Rights?

6 On the Concept of ‘Care’

7 In Praise of Imperfection

part 2: Cultural

8 Is Representation of the Holocaust Possible?

9 Past, Present and Future of Universities

10 Is the Language of Philosophy in a State of Crisis?

11 Reflections on the Dynamics of Personal Identity in Modernity

12 The ‘End of Philosophy’ (Four Times) or Karl Marx as a German Philosopher

13 Nietzsche on Dreams

14 What Went Wrong with the Religion of Reason?

15 De libero arbitrio (On Free Choice of the Will)

16 Fathers and Sons in the Bible

17 Infinity as Concept and as Imagination
For both academic and general audiences, this book of lectures on contemporary political and cultural topics and issues is of professional and general interest.
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