Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse
Scholars and activists

William Leiss Bio

Leiss, William LeissWilliam (b. 1939), Professor, School of Policy Studies
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario (Leiss's homepage)

  • one of Herbert's students at Brandeis (M.A. in the History of Ideas Program, 1963), and UCSD (Ph.D., 1969)
  • author of, among many other titles (his site's book list),
    The Domination of Nature
    (1974, reprinted 1994).
  • "Husserl and the Mastery of Nature," in Telos no. 5 (Spr. 1970)
  • 4/20/04 guestbook entry.
  • author of a response to a review of One Dimensional Man in the NYRB in 1964 (archive copy).
  • Nov. 24, 2011 autobiographical interview published in CTheory magazine.
  • On his profile page as director of the Royal Society of Canada, we find the following anecdote: "Marcuse, who had learned his own craft with two of the most famous philosophers of the twentieth century, Husserl and Heidegger, before fleeing from Germany in 1932, ran his evening graduate seminars thus: When the door closed on the room the outside world was suspended (the world in which many of us had spent the preceding day in antiwar activities) and the 'text' was opened before us. In the seminar I remember best, the text was the section known as the 'Doctrine of Essence' in Hegel's Greater Logic, the section that begins with the chapter on 'Being and Nothing.' We students were asked in turn to read a sentence and say what we thought it meant in our own words. In the course of a three-hour seminar we covered on average five pages of text; this seminar lasted twenty weeks, so after eight months of wrenching effort we had completed a hundred pages. When we complained, we were told that in the 1920s Marcuse had attended Heidegger's seminar on Aristotle's Metaphysics, and in six months the class never got beyond the first page of the Greek text. But that class (and we) learned how to read a difficult text."

Other Resources

Index entries: Leiss, William