Agnes Heller : Socialism, Autonomy and the Postmodern

By: Tormey, Simon

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Agnes Heller : Socialism, Autonomy and the Postmodern by Tormey, Simon
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Manchester, United Kingdom: Manchester University Press, 2001. 220pp. looks unused. This is an examination of the political thought of Agnes Heller, one of the most important thinkers of her generation. Her work covers a formidable range of subjects from Marxian anthropology, through aesthetics, the philosophy of history, 'actually existing socialism', to postmodernism and the political forms of the modern state. Among her better known works are Radical Philosophy, General Ethics, Beyond Justice, A Theory of History and, more recently, Biopolitics and The Postmodern Political Condition. Heller is also considered one of the leading proponents of 'ethical socialism', a variety of socialist thought which stresses the importance of responsibility, obligation and duty. Tormey treats Heller's work partly historically and partly thematically, and places it in a postmodern, twenty-first century context. The book begins by tackling Heller's work on Marx's account of subjectivity and her own attempt to ground social theory in an account of individual needs. It then shows how she builds upon this model subject, examining her description of the relationship between the individual and the community. Tormey then goes on to examine Heller's reformulation of Kantian ethics and her critique of other attempts to deploy ethics for conservative ends. Finally, the book assesses her most recent writings in which she looks at the prospects for socialism in a context in which the 'postmodern condition' has come to hold sway. (publisher notes). Paperback. Very Good. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall.

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