Herbert Marcuse

Richard Kearney

in Debates in Continental Philosophy

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780823223176
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235155 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Herbert Marcuse

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According to Herbert Marcuse, it seems to have become quite evident that the advanced industrial countries have long since reached the stage of wealth and productivity which Karl Marx projected for the construction of a socialist society. Consequently, a quantitative increase in material productivity is now seen to be insufficient in itself, and a qualitative change in society as a whole is seen to be necessary. Such a qualitative change presupposes, of course, new and unalienating conditions of labor, distribution and living, but that alone is not enough. The qualitative change necessary to build a truly socialist society, something that has not been seen yet, depends on other values—not so much economic (quantitative) as aesthetic (qualitative) in character. This change in turn requires more than just a gratification of needs; it requires, in addition, a change in the nature of these needs themselves. Marcuse also shares his philosophy on art and politics.

Keywords: Herbert Marcuse; Karl Marx; socialism; material productivity; change; labor; wealth; philosophy; art; politics

Chapter.  5463 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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