Philosophy and Revolution: From Kant to Marx

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Throughout the nineteenth century, German philosophy was haunted by the specter of the French Revolution. Kant, Hegel and their followers spent their lives wrestling with its heritage, trying to imagine a specifically German path to modernity: a "revolution without revolution." Trapped in a politically ossified society, German intellectuals were driven to brood over the nature of the revolutionary experience.

In this ambitious and original study, Stathis Kouvelakis paints a rich panorama of the key intellectual and political figures in the effervescence of German thought before the 1848 revolutions. He shows how the attempt to chart a moderate, reformist path entered into crisis, generating two antagonistic perspectives within the progressive currents of German society. On the one side were those socialists--among them Moses Hess and the young Friedrich Engels--who sought to discover a principle of harmony in social relations, bypassing the question of revolutionary politics. On the other side, the poet Heinrich Heine and the young Karl Marx developed a new perspective, articulating revolutionary rupture, proletarian hegemony and struggle for democracy, thereby redefining the very notion of politics itself.
 

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Philosophy and Revolution: From Kant to Marx

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This ambitious tract on the formation of Karl Marx's ideas brings together disparate currents in an original and multifaceted reading. Combining intellectual history and biographical narrative, with a ... Read full review

Contents

Kant and Hegel or the Ambiguity of Origins
9
Superseding the Revolution?
23
A state beyond politics?
38
A clinical description of decomposition
53
CONTENTS
73
The politics of the name
82
revolutionary democracy
99
Moses Hess Prophet of a New Revolution?
121
A physiologist in the big city
199
From class struggle to race war and vice versa
207
Tertium datur
217
Karl Marx From the Public Sphere to Revolutionary
232
Noncontemporaneousness in the Rhineland
243
The system of the free press
256
Volksgeist and revolution
267
The Roads of Exile
275

From the social to the state
129
Defending the German Road
135
Radicalization or flight to the front
145
Thereligion of love and humanity
158
Friedrich Engels Discovers the Proletariat 18421845
167
Hegel in Feuerbach
178
The inevitable revolution
185
Population or Class?
193
Hegel beyond Hegel
288
true democracy
303
The radical revolution
324
SelfCriticisms of the Revolution
337
Notes
353
Index
423
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About the author (2003)

Stathis Kouvelakis is a reader in political theory at King's College London. He is author and editor of many books, including the La France en révolte. Luttes sociales et cycles politiques (Textuel, Paris, 2007), Critical Companion to Contemporary Marxism (Haymarket, New York, 2009) and Lenin Reloaded: Toward a Politics of Truth (co-edited with Sebastian Budgen and Slavoj Zizek, Duke University Press, Durham, 2007), a book translated in German, Italian, Spanish and Turkish.

Fredric Jameson is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Duke University. The author of numerous books, he has over the last three decades developed a richly nuanced vision of Western culture's relation to political economy. He was a recipient of the 2008 Holberg International Memorial Prize. He is the author of many books, including Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, The Cultural Turn, A Singular Modernity, The Modernist Papers, Archaeologies of the Future, Brecht and Method, Ideologies of Theory, Valences of the Dialectic, The Hegel Variations and Representing Capital.

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