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By Warren

Marxism's cave in within the 20th century profoundly altered the fashion and substance of Western ecu radical idea. to construct an improved kind of democratic idea and motion, admired theorists moved to reject revolution, abandon type for extra fragmented types of social motion, and bring up the political over the social. Acknowledging the constructedness of society and politics, they selected the "symbolic" as an idea strong adequate to reinvent leftist proposal open air a Marxist framework. Following Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Adventures of the Dialectic, which reassessed philosophical Marxism at mid century, Warren Breckman severely revisits those exciting experiments within the aftermath of Marxism.The post-Marxist notion of the symbolic is dynamic and intricate, uncannily echoing the early German Romantics, who first complicated a latest perception of symbolism and the symbolic. Hegel and Marx denounced the Romantics for his or her otherworldly and nebulous posture, but post-Marxist thinkers favored the wealthy capability of the ambiguities and paradoxes the Romantics first well-known. Mapping diverse principles of the symbolic between modern thinkers, Breckman strains a desirable mirrored image of Romantic subject matters and resonances, and he explores intensive the trouble to reconcile a thorough and democratic political schedule with a politics that doesn't privilege materialist understandings of the social. enticing with the paintings of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Cornelius Castoriadis, Claude Lefort, Marcel Gauchet, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Slavoj Žižek, Breckman uniquely situates those vital theorists inside of 200 years of ecu notion and extends their profound relevance to present day political activism.

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By contrast, Goethe argued, the very nature of poetry lies in its expression of the particular, without thinking of or referring to a universal. To grasp this particular in a truly lively way, however, is also to come into contact with the general, though without immediate awareness or, at most, with an awareness that emerges only in reflection. ” This formulation points to a tension in the Autonomieästhetik: the work may have a certain kind of autonomy insofar as it can never be reduced to something outside itself.

The thorough reader will be rewarded, I hope. But this book may be gainfully approached in two other ways. First, each chapter is a substantial treatment of its subject: each one stands to a considerable extent on its own and may be read as an individual study. Second, I have constructed the book as a series of contrapuntal exchanges. Accordingly, the six chapters comprise three separate paired discussions. The first two chapters explore two quite different ways 23 INTRODUCTION in which the emerging western European left engaged Romanticism in the early nineteenth century.

The main tendency of Left Hegelianism was opposed to Romanticism and, by extension, Romantic ideas about symbolic form. Nonetheless, as this chapter will show, there were subtleties in the way this critical distance from Romanticism played out. To explore these, this chapter will discuss the divergent tracks taken by Bruno Bauer and Ludwig Feuerbach. Bauer’s philosophy of self-consciousness radicalized Hegel’s emphasis on the potential transparency of language and meaning, thereby tying the emancipatory project to a radical process of desymbolization.

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