Herbert Marcuse: A critical reader

Edited by John Abromeit and W. Mark Cobb
(New York: Routledge, 2004)
[$35 at amazon.com]

with biographical essay by Peter Marcuse
provided with permission of Taylor & Francis Publishers
part of the Books About Page of the Official Herbert Marcuse website
uploaded Aug. 5, 2003, formatting 6/15/05

Description & Intro
1998 conference program
(separate page)
15 of 27 contributions to a 1998 conference in Berkeley are published in this book



Part I: Veteran scholars� reflections on Marcuse�s theoretical legacy

1 Marcuse�s legacies

2 The American experience of the critical theorists

3 Heidegger and Marcuse: the catastrophe and redemption of technology

4 Marcuse and the quest for radical subjectivity

5 Marcuse�s maternal ethic

6 Marcuse�s negative dialectics of imagination

Part II: Interpretations of Marcuse�s critical theory from the next generation

7 Herbert Marcuse�s critical encounter with Martin Heidegger, 1927�33

8 The theoretical place of utopia: some remarks on Marcuse�s dual anthropology

9 Diatribes and distortions: Marcuse�s academic reception

10 Marcuse, Habermas, and the critique of technology

11 The fate of emancipated subjectivity

Part III: Marcuse and contemporary ecological theory

12 Marcuse�s deep-social ecology and the future of utopian environmentalism

13 Marcuse�s ecological critique and the American environmental movement

14 Marcuse and the "new science"

Part IV: Recollections

15 Herbert Marcuse�s "identity"

16 Encountering Marcuse


Herbert Marcuse: A Critical Reader is a collection of brand new papers by sixteen Marcuse scholars, which provides a comprehensive reassessment of the relevance of Marcuse�s critical theory at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Although best known for his reputation in critical theory, Herbert Marcuse�s work has had impact on areas as diverse as politics, technology, aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and ecology. This collection addresses the contemporary relevance of Marcuse�s work in this broad variety of fields and from an international perspective.

In Part I, veteran scholars of Marcuse and the Frankfurt School examine the legacy of various specific areas of Marcuse�s thought, including the quest for radical subjectivity, the maternal ethic, and the negative dialectics of "imagination." The second part of this collection documents Marcuse�s reception among the new generation of critical theorists, on subjects including anthropology and technology, and Marcuse�s relation to thinkers such as Heidegger and Habermas. Part III focuses on a very new trend in Marcuse scholarship: the link between Marcuse�s ideas and environmental thought. The final section of the book contains recollections on Marcuse�s person rather than his critical theory, including a look back over his life by his son, Peter.

Introductory Remark

The original inspiration for this volume came from the international conference on "The Legacy of Herbert Marcuse" that was held at the University of California, Berkeley, on 6�7 November 1998 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Herbert Marcuse�s birth. Although many of the papers that appear here have been modified or completely replaced in the meantime, it remains true that this volume would not have been possible without the support of various people and organizations who made the conference possible. Foremost among them was Martin Jay, who made a generous contribution of research funds from his endowed professorship, provided invaluable aid and advice on organizing the conference, and also delivered the opening remarks. Other organizations at the University of California, Berkeley, who supported the conference include the Department of History, the Center for Western European Studies, the Center for German and European Studies, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities. The History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, also made a financial contribution to the conference.


John Abromeit is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the co-editor of Heideggerian Marxism (2003).

W. Mark Cobb is Professor of Philosophy at Pensacola Junior College, and a Ph.D. candidate in the history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Contributors: John Abromeit, Stephan Bundschuh, Detlev Claussen, W. Mark Cobb, Angela Y. Davis, Andrew Feenberg, Samir Gandesha, Douglas Kellner, Andrew Light, Tim Luke, Peter Marcuse, John O�Neill, Gérard Raulet, Carl E. Shorske, Steven Vogel, Michael Werz.

Stephan Bundschuh holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He has published essays on the topics of National Socialism and aesthetics.

Detlev Claussen is a professor of social theory and cultural sociology at the Institute for Sociology at the University of Hannover, Germany.

W. Mark Cobb is Professor of Philosophy at Pensacola Junior College, and a Ph.D. candidate in the history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Angela Y. Davis is a professor in the department of History of Consciousness and the University of California Presidential Chair in African American and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of five books including Angela Davis: An Autobiography and The Angela Davis Reader.

Andrew Feenberg is Professor of Philosophy at San Diego State University. His most recent book is Questioning Technology (Routledge, 1999).

Samir Gandesha teaches in the School of Academic Studies at Centennial College, Toronto. His work concerns the relation between art and ethics in modern philosophical discourse.

Douglas Kellner is George F. Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education at UCLA. He is the editor of Marcuse�s collected papers, published by Routledge in six volumes.

Andrew Light is Assistant Professor of Environmental Philosophy and Director of the Environmental Conservation Education Program at New York University. He is also Research Fellow at the Institute for Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy at Lancaster University, UK.

Tim Luke is Professor of Political Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Peter Marcuse is a lawyer and Professor for Urban Planning at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of Missing Marx (1991). He is also Herbert Marcuse�s son.

John O�Neill is Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at York University, Toronto, a Member of the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Gérard Raulet is Professor of German Philosophy and Literature at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lettres et Sciences Humaines in Fontenay- St Cloud, and Research Program Director at the Maison des Sciences de l�Homme in Paris.

Carl E. Schorske is Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University. He is the author of German Social Democracy, 1905�1917, Fin-de-siècle Vienna, and Thinking with History.

Steven Vogel is Professor of Philosophy at Denison College in Granville, Ohio. He is the author of Against Nature (1996).

Michael Werz received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He is now Assistant Professor at the Institute for Sociology at the University of Hannover, Germany.

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