Hegel's ontology and the theory of historicity /

Main Author: Marcuse, Herbert, 1898-1979.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c1987.
Series: Studies in contemporary German social thought
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Review by Choice Review

Marcuse's most important and certainly his most fundamental work. Written in the early 1930s when Marcuse was under the powerful influence of Martin Heidegger, it constitutes one of the most important readings of Hegel's doctrine of historicity (Geschichtlichkeit), or what it means to be in historical time. Although the book is a study of Hegel's ontology from a Heideggerian and Lebensphilosophie (W. Dilthey) perspective, it is essentially in the tradition of the ``phenomenological Marxism'' which was later represented by J.-P. Sartre and M. Merleau-Ponty. The book is in two basic parts. The first examines the theory of being in Hegel's early theological writings and The Phenomenology of Spirit. In the second part Marcuse claims-rightly this reviewer believes-that the concept of historical life is the basis of Hegel's ontology. Less ideological than Marcuse's later writings, the book is a philosophical classic, essential for those who would grasp the foundations for Marcuse's subsequent works such as Eros and Civilization (CH, Mar '67) and One-Dimensional Man (CH, Mar '64). Recommended without qualification to advanced undergraduates and graduate students.-H.N. Tuttle, University of New Mexico

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Marcuse examines three aspects of Hegel's philosophy: the concept of life and its ontological status, the concept of movement as an ontological dimension of all existence, and the bearing of both concepts on the theory of historicity. Examining first Hegel's Logic and then his theological writings and Phenomenology of Mind , he argues that Hegel was moving from an ontological to a historical characterization of human existence. The work, among Marcuse's earliest, is highly technical in its vocabularythough a glossary provides some assistanceand is translated into English for the first time here. Though it shows little of the Marcuse who became a popular New Left theorist, it will be of interest to students of 19th- and 20th-century philosophy. Brent Nelson, University of Arkansas, Technology Campus Library, Little Rock (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.