In this seminar, Stanley Aronowitz will engage with the problematic of dialectical thought in the Marxist tradition.
Dialectics has maintained a plethora of meanings, many of them in conflict with each other. Kant used the term sparingly and it was Hegel who made dialectics the moving force of all things. Marx, although following in the steps of Hegel, did not comment directly on what dialectics essentially is. It was through Engels, using Hegel that dialectics was to be applied to both nature and society. Lukacs, in the 1920’s, disagreed and considered dialectics to refer exclusively to social relations whereas nature had laws of its own, In the same decade and for the next forty years, the Frankfurt School philosophers were divided on this issue. However Adorno, who avoided a direct confrontation with Marcuse on this issue, thought dialectics applied to both nature and society. Through a close reading of seminal texts on dialectics and dialectical thinking, this course will explore the variegated meaning of dialectics and their relevance for our contemporary situation.
The Seminar will take place on Saturdays from October 14th until December 2nd, from 1 to 3pm.
The Idea Factory, 2067 Broadway, 2nd Floor – front room, (between 71st and 72nd Streets.)
$100 for all sessions or $15 per session
Readings will include:
- Lukacs, Gyorgy. “What Is Orthodox Marxism?”
- Lefebvre, Henri. Dialectical Materialism
- Marcuse, Hebert. “A Note on Dialectics” in Reason and Revolution
- Adorno, Theodor. Introduction to Dialectics