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 before going on to develop one of the most comprehensive oeuvres in contemporary philosophy, which includes a distinctive ethical theory and analyses of a vast range of topics covering almost every philosophical area. In this volume, philosophers, sociologists, journalists, and political scientists contextualize, compare, and assess different elements of Heller's writings, and highlight the shifts and consistencies of her work as a whole. 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 book 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

Editor's Introduction Katie Terezakis Terezakis, Katie 1

Ch. 1 Laudatio for Agnes Heller Yirmiyahu Yovel Yovel, Yirmiyahu 11

Ch. 2 Marxism and Exile: Reflections On Intellectual Migration Bryan S. Turner Turner, Bryan S. 23

Ch. 3 Agnes Heller's Theory of Modernity Peter Beilharz Beilharz, Peter 37

Ch. 4 Why Does Agnes Heller Marter? Political Action, Social Change and Radical Politics in the Twenty-First Century Simon Tormey Tormey, Simon 45

Ch. 5 The Power of Radical Needs Anthony Kammas Kammas, Anthony 63

Ch. 6 Remembrance of Things Future: From Totalitarianism to Fundamentalism Kira Brunner Don Don, Kira Brunner 79

Ch. 7 Existential Choice: Heller's Either/Or Richard J. Bernstein Bernstein, Richard J. 87

Ch. 8 Narrative Philosophy: An Essay on Agnes Heller Janos Boros Boros, Janos 101

Ch. 9 To Agnes Heller: An Open Letter on Philosophy and the Real Problem of Woman Katie Terezakis Terezakis, Katie 123

Ch. 10 Loving Fate Amos Friedland Friedland, Amos 141

Ch. 11 Agnes Heller as Autobiographer: History and a Myriad of Contexts Preben Kaarsholm Kaarsholm, Preben 159

Ch. 12 The Comedy of Philosophy Dmitri Nikulin Nikulin, Dmitri 167

Ch. 13 Nietzsche's Thumotic Politics: A Programmatic Statement with an Eye on Agnes Heller Horst Hutter Hutter, Horst 193

Ch. 14 From Contingency to Destiny: On Heller's Existential Ethics John Grumley Grumley, John 223

Ch. 15 Reflections on the Essays Addressed to My Work Agnes Heller Heller, Agnes 235

Appendix "Von der Arrnut am Geiste": A Dialogue by the Young Lukacs Agnes Heller 253

Further Reading 263

Index 265

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