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The History of History and Class Consciousness

  • Richard Westerman
Chapter
Part of the Political Philosophy and Public Purpose book series (POPHPUPU)

Abstract

Tracing the development of Lukács’s thought from the heady days of revolution in 1919 to the publication of History and Class Consciousness in 1923, Westerman argues Lukács’s masterwork should not be seen as a single, relatively unified whole. The last-written essays of the book—‘What is Orthodox Marxism?,’ ‘Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat,’ and ‘Towards a Methodology of the Problem of Organisation’—are quite different from the earlier ones in their theoretical sophistication. Pointing to the references Lukács makes, to changes in his use of the term ‘consciousness,’ and to Lukács’s increasing tendency to use the term ‘totality’ to designate a self-enclosed whole, Westerman argues that these essays represent a theoretical return to his Heidelberg works. This justifies treating those works as a unified lens to interpret Lukács’s Marxian social theory.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Westerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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