On Hegel and the rise of social theory: A critical appreciation of Herbert Marcuse's reason and revolution, fifty years later
Sociological Theory 11 (3):243-267 (1993)
Marcuse's Reason and Revolution was the first Hegelian Marxist text to appear in English, the first systematic study of Hegel by a Marxist, and the first work in English to discuss the young Marx seriously. It introduced Hegelian and Marxist concepts such as alienation, subjectivity, negativity, and the Frankfurt School's critique of positivism to a wide audience in the United States. When the book first appeared, it was attacked sharply from the standpoint of empiricism and positivism by Sidney Hook, among others. Since 1960, new critiques of Marcuse's book have been developed from varying perspectives, especially by the "scientific" Marxist Lucio Colletti, the critical theorist Douglas Kellner, and the Marxist humanist Raya Dunayevskaya. From the postmodernist camp, Jacques Derrida has discussed some of the same themes as did Marcuse, especially around the issues of negativity and difference. It is argued, however, that Derrida's reading of Hegel is more problematic than Marcuse's, especially with regard to the project of constructing a critical social theory
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