Engaging Agnes Heller

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This collection of essays examines the life and thought of Agnes Heller, who rose to international acclaim as a Marxist dissident in Eastern Europe, then went on to develop one of the most comprehensive oeuvres in contemporary philosophy, putting forward a distinctive ethical theory and analyses of a vast range of topics covering most every philosophical area. Here, philosophers, sociologists, journalists, and political scientists contextualize, compare and assess different elements of Heller's work; the collection as a whole highlights relevant shifts within that work as well as its intrinsic consistency. Essays in the collection address the relationship between philosophy, political practice and everyday life, Heller's theory of modernity and her ethical theory, her recent scholarship on comedy and the Biblical book of Genesis, her theories of radical needs and radical politics, her aesthetic theory, and questions about her relationship to feminist theory. The collection includes Heller's reflections on the collected essays, as well as an early essay on her mentor Luk√°cs that exposes her own steadfast engagement with certain practical and philosophical issues throughout her life's work.

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Editorial Reviews

Seyla Benhabib
A worthy tribute to a distinguished philosopher, who as a "child of the 20th century," reflected on the great catastrophes as well as failed hopes and aspirations of her time. Agnes Heller is a thinker of tremendous depth and breadth, whose contributions range from ethics to aesthetics, to the history of philosophy to the philosophy of needs and feelings, and of course, to her engagement with Marx and Lukacs. These essays bring to life the significance as well as the vibrancy of her contributions.
Lydia Goehr
With coverage of ethics, aesthetics, and core political and philosophical themes in the history of modernity, this diverse and brilliant collection of essays on the life and thought of Agnes Heller does utmost justice to an extraordinary philosopher of our times.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739122563
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Katie Terezakis is assistant professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Editor's Introduction Chapter 2 Laudatio for Agnes Heller Chapter 3 Marxism and Exile: Reflections on Intellectual Migration Chapter 4 Why Does Agnes Heller Matter? Political Action, Social Change, and Radical Politics in the Twenty-First Century Chapter 5 The Power of Political Needs Chapter 6 Remembrance of Things Future: From Totalitarianism to Fundamentalism Chapter 7 Existential Choice: Heller's Either/Or Chapter 8 Narrative Philosophy: An Essay on Agnes Heller Chapter 9 To Agnes Heller: An Open Letter on Philosophy and the Real Problem of Woman Chapter 10 Loving Fate Chapter 11 Agnes Heller as Autobiographer: History and a Myriad of Contexts Chapter 12 The Comedy of Philosophy Chapter 13 Nietzsche's Thumotic Politics: A Programmatic Statement with an Eye on Agnes Heller Chapter 14 From Contingency to Destiny: On Heller's Existential Ethics Chapter 15 Reflections on the Essays Addressed to My Work Chapter 16 "Von der Amut am Geiste": A Dialogue by the Young Lukacs Chapter 17 Further Reading

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