In this work, originally published in 1989, the author establishes a tradition of radical historicism from Hegel to the Budapenst School. He charts both its continuous evolution from the early 19th century to the late 20thh, and its transformation in the context of European social, economic and cultural change. Through a reappraisal of historical interpretation from Hegel to Foucault, the book demonstrates the contemporary relevance of radical historicism. It includes detailed analyses of Marx, Dilthey, Simmel, Weber, Lukácks, Horkheimer, Adorno and Habermas.
Part 1: Birth of the Emancipatory, Historicist Concept of Totality 1. Hegel: Between Metaphysics and History 2. Marx: From History to Praxis Part 2: The Retreat Into the Antinomies of Cultural Pessimism 3. The Geisteswissenschaften: The Rise of a Negative concept of Totality 4. The Pre-Marxist Lukácks: The Longing for Totality Part 3: The Irruption of History 5. The Marxist Lukácks: ‘Totality’ – Principle of Revolution 6. The Crisis of Enlightenment: Horkheimer and Adorno Against the Administered Totality Part 4: The Anti-Humanist Challenge to Radical Historicism 7. Michel Foucault: Anti-Totalising Scepticism or Totalising Prophecy