Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, Cat Moir offers a new interpretation of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch. The reception of Bloch’s work has seen him variously painted as a naïve realist, a romantic nature philosopher, a totalitarian thinker, and an irrationalist whose obscure literary style stands in for a lack of systematic rigour. Moir challenges these conceptions of Bloch by reconstructing the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of his speculative materialism. Through a close, historically contextualised reading of Bloch’s major work of ontology,
Das Materialismusproblem, seine Geschichte und Substanz (The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance), Moir presents Bloch as one of the twentieth century’s most significant critical thinkers.
The writer, scientist, philosopher, and radical democrat Georg Büchner (1813-1837) occupies a unique place in the cultural legacy of the German-speaking countries. Born into an epoch of inevitable, yet arrested historical transition, Büchner produced a small but exceptionally rich body of work. This collection of essays in English and in German considers the full spectrum of his writings, the political pamphlet
Der Hessische Landbote, the dramas
Leonce und Lena,
Woyzeck, and the fragmentary narrative
Lenz, as well as the letters, the philosophical lectures on Descartes and Spinoza, and the scientific texts. The essays examine connections between these works, study texts in detail, debate ways of editing them, and trace their reception in contemporary literature and film. The novel readings presented here not only celebrate Büchner on the eve of his bicentenary birthday but also insert this untimely figure into discussions of the revolution-restoration dynamic and realism in poetics and politics.