The Phenomenon of Reification: Economic and Existential Aspects. A Reading of Lukács’ Study ‚Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat‛

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Alexandru Lupușor

Abstract

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Georg Lukács entered the history of philosophy mostly due to his work History and Class Consciousness. According to Merleau-Ponty, Luk{cs’ History and Class Consciousness ‚was for a while the bible of what was called Western communism‛ (Merleau-Ponty 1973, 7). The special place of this legendary work among Marxist studies of the 20th century seems to be determined mainly by the original interpretation which History and Class Consciousness offers to some of the essential categories of Marx’s sociological and economic theory. Namely, by rethinking Marx’s categories of ‘reification’ and ‘alienation’ through Simmel’s philosophy of culture and Weber’s theory of society, by assuming at the same time the methodological perspectives of the latter and, not least, through the ethical reflection drawn from Dostoyevsky's and Tolstoy`s writings, Georg Lukács proposed an original theory that became one of the most important sources for many modern versions of the ‚cultural criticism of the bourgeoisie‛.In this paper, I will attempt to describe Lukács’ theory of reification, which represents the philosophical stem of the whole History and Class Consciousness. I will also discuss its mode of concretization, firstly, for the object of the production process, emphasizing the economic dimension of reification, and, secondly, for the subject of this process, which should unfold the existential aspect of the same phenomenon.

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How to Cite
LUPUȘOR, Alexandru. The Phenomenon of Reification: Economic and Existential Aspects. A Reading of Lukács’ Study ‚Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat‛. Annals of the University of Bucharest - Philosophy Series, [S.l.], v. 69, n. 2, p. 51-61, nov. 2021. ISSN 0068-3175. Available at: <http://annals.filosofie.unibuc.ro/index.php/annals/article/view/319>. Date accessed: 28 nov. 2021.
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