Philosophy and Revolution: From Kant to Marx (Paperback)

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Throughout the nineteenth century, German philosophy was haunted by the specter of the French Revolution. Kant, Hegel and their followers spent their lives wrestling with its heritage, trying to imagine a specifically German path to modernity: a “revolution without revolution.” Trapped in a politically ossified society, German intellectuals were driven to brood over the nature of the revolutionary experience.

In this ambitious and original study, Stathis Kouvelakis paints a rich panorama of the key intellectual and political figures in the effervescence of German thought before the 1848 revolutions. He shows how the attempt to chart a moderate, reformist path entered into crisis, generating two antagonistic perspectives within the progressive currents of German society. On the one side were those socialists—among them Moses Hess and the young Friedrich Engels—who sought to discover a principle of harmony in social relations, bypassing the question of revolutionary politics. On the other side, the poet Heinrich Heine and the young Karl Marx developed a new perspective, articulating revolutionary rupture, proletarian hegemony and struggle for democracy, thereby redefining the very notion of politics itself.

About the Author


Stathis Kouvelakis is a reader in political theory at King's College London. He is author and editor of many books, including the La France en révolte. Luttes sociales et cycles politiques (Textuel, Paris, 2007), Critical Companion to Contemporary Marxism (Haymarket, New York, 2009) and Lenin Reloaded: Toward a Politics of Truth (co-edited with Sebastian Budgen and Slavoj Zizek, Duke University Press, Durham, 2007), a book translated in German, Italian, Spanish and Turkish.

Fredric Jameson is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Duke University. The author of numerous books, he has over the last three decades developed a richly nuanced vision of Western culture’s relation to political economy. He was a recipient of the 2008 Holberg International Memorial Prize. He is the author of many books, including Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, The Cultural Turn, A Singular Modernity, The Modernist Papers, Archaeologies of the Future, Brecht and Method, Ideologies of Theory, Valences of the Dialectic, The Hegel Variations and Representing Capital.

Praise For…


“Quite simply the best study of the ‘young Marx’ (pre-1848) and his immediate predecessors I have ever read.”—Science & Society

“Perhaps the first truly original new version of [Marx’s] formation since Auguste Cornu’s monumental postwar history ... but also a new theory of what is structurally most central and distinctive in Marx’s achievement, namely the unique political nature and powers of the proletariat.”—Fredric Jameson, from the Preface


Product Details
ISBN: 9781786635785
ISBN-10: 178663578X
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: December 4th, 2018
Pages: 480
Language: English