Georg Lukacs’ PhilosophyJune 27, 2021
Lukacs, in his famous book History and Class Consciousness, reveals his understanding and direction of development of Marxism. Here, he shapes concepts and categories such as Totality, Mediation, Class consciousness, Reification, Revolutionary subject. Its basic approach is based on subject-object identity, and it is also evident as theory-practice unity.
Later, Lukacs will reject or change some of the concepts and perspectives he has introduced here, but despite this, Lukacs’ work has been influential both within Marxism (especially in Western Marxism) and outside it (especially in the theory of ideology and alienation debates).
In Lukacs the emphasis on the subject and practice is evident at all stages of intellectual development. His attempt to reevaluate Marxism through Hegel is, in a sense, due to the existence of this theory-practice unity and the identity of subject-object as its basis in Hegel. Lukacs tries to put Hegel’s theory of history in a materialist position through Marx. It would not be wrong to say that Lukacs tried to establish a non-teleological understanding of history without giving up the concept of the subject.
After History and Class Consciousness, Lukacs focuses especially on Marx’s critique of political economy and begins to reflect on it. He denies his ideas on subject-object identity in a new hunch he wrote for this book in the 1960s, expressing his tendency towards extreme subjectivism. He sees his main arguments as under the influence of subjective thinking. It is stated that Lukacs has a more materialistic and objective thinking orientation, and his book, The Ontology of Social Being, which he could not complete although it was around 2000 pages, is considered as a sign of this orientation. With these changes and self-criticisms, it should be noted that the effort to reach a non-teleological idea of history without giving up on the subject is the main issue of Lukacs’ intra-Marxist search.