By Alasdair MacIntyre (Author); Frank Kermode (Editor)
Marcuse's research of guy in sleek commercial society has lately turn into a resource for progressive principles and slogans. Is his research sound? Are his conclusions actual? Alasdair MacIntyre pursues those questions in a forthright and hugely severe research of Marcuse's notion and his relation to different writers, in particular Freud, Marx, and Hegel.
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Extra resources for Herbert Marcuse: An Exposition and a Polemic
But from this it follows that Marcuse's central thesis about the future collapses into incoher ence. And this is surely not unimportant. Why Marcuse distinguishes the knowledge of human society from the knowledge of nature in the way he does and why he consequently adopts the attitudes he does both to the interpretation of Marxism and to posi tivism are matters which deserve further consideration. But they can be raised more adequately in the context of an assessment of Soviet Marxism and One-Dimen sional Man.
The primal father monopolizes the women — and so pleasure— and subjugates the sons. The sons hate the father and combine to kill and eat him. , p. 15. p. 60. against parricide and incest which are self-imposed. They no longer struggle to succeed to the position of the father, for they understand that this is futile. This leads to “a union among them, a sort of social contract. ”4 Even if, with Marcuse, we wish to treat this account not as a true historical narrative but as an as if story, an illuminating metaphor, it is necessary that the account be internally coherent.
It is a history of philosophy in which Hegel not only reviews the main philosophical positions of the past but at tempts to depict exhaustively the range of philosophical positions which are possible. (And how extraordinarily impressive his attempt to carry out this impossible task is, is shown by the way he anticipates philosophical positions which were only to be worked out in the future by his successors and critics. ) But since for Hegel the thought-forms which the philosopher discerns are those which inform civiliza tion and not merely philosophical theorizing, the Phenomenology situates the history of philosophy within a history of the human spirit.