Publication date:16 March 2009
Length of book:278 pages
This collection of essays examines the life and thought of Agnes Heller, who rose to international acclaim as a Marxist dissident in Eastern Europe, then went on to develop one of the most comprehensive oeuvres in contemporary philosophy, putting forward a distinctive ethical theory and analyses of a vast range of topics covering most every philosophical area. Here, philosophers, sociologists, journalists, and political scientists contextualize, compare and assess different elements of Heller's work; the collection as a whole highlights relevant shifts within that work as well as its intrinsic consistency. Essays in the collection address the relationship between philosophy, political practice and everyday life, Heller's theory of modernity and her ethical theory, her recent scholarship on comedy and the Biblical book of Genesis, her theories of radical needs and radical politics, her aesthetic theory, and questions about her relationship to feminist theory. The collection includes Heller's reflections on the collected essays, as well as an early essay on her mentor Lukács that exposes her own steadfast engagement with certain practical and philosophical issues throughout her life's work.
A worthy tribute to a distinguished philosopher, who as a "child of the 20th century," reflected on the great catastrophes as well as failed hopes and aspirations of her time. Agnes Heller is a thinker of tremendous depth and breadth, whose contributions range from ethics to aesthetics, to the history of philosophy to the philosophy of needs and feelings, and of course, to her engagement with Marx and Lukacs. These essays bring to life the significance as well as the vibrancy of her contributions.