320 Pages
    by Routledge

    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) is known to many as a leading figure of 1960s counter-culture, and a 'Guru of the New Left'. However, the deeper philosophical background to Marcuse's thought is often forgotten, especially his significant engagement with German idealism, ancient philosophy, and a broad spectrum of problems and issues from the philosophical tradition.

    This much-needed book introduces and assesses Marcuse's philosophy and is ideal for those coming to his work for the first time. Jacob McNulty covers the following topics:

    • Marcuse's life and the background to his thought, including his formative period as a student of Husserl and Heidegger and as a philosopher in Horkheimer's institute
    • Marcuse's recasting of metaphysics in light of Marxian and Freudian thought
    • Marcuse and German idealism, especially the role of Kant and Hegel
    • Marcuse's philosophy of human nature, his use of the late Freud's ideas of Eros and Thanatos
    • Marcuse as a critic of state and monopoly capitalism
    • Meaning, propaganda, and ideology: the political implications of language and also the centrality of free speech
    • Marcuse's aesthetics
    • Marcuse's legacy and his relationship to contemporary analytical philosophy (especially "analytic critical theory").

    An outstanding and engaging introduction to a central figure in twentieth-century radical thought, Marcuse is essential reading for those in philosophy and related disciplines including political theory, sociology and media and communication studies.

    Preface and Acknowledgments



    1. Life and Thought 

    2. Epistemology

    3. Metaphysics

    4. Philosophy of Science

    5. Aesthetics

    6. Human Nature

    7. Politics and Society

    8. Marcuse Today.





    Jacob McNulty is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, USA. He is the author of Hegel's Logic and Metaphysics (2023). His work on Rousseau, Fichte, and others has appeared in the European Journal of Philosophy, the Journal for the History of Philosophy, the British Journal for the History of Philosophy.

    "McNulty reestablishes Marcuse’s credentials as a first-rate philosopher, while at the same time affirming Marcuse’s political commitments to critical Marxism and democratic socialism. With writing that is philosophically sophisticated, accessible and engaging, McNulty elaborates Marcuse’s theoretical positions on questions of epistemology, metaphysics, the philosophy of science, aesthetics and philosophical anthropology. Ranging confidently over the entire body of Marcuse’s work, McNulty has given us an excellent introduction to Marcuse’s critical philosophy."John Abromeit, State University of New York at Buffalo, USA

    "In this lucid and imaginative study, McNulty painstakingly reconstructs the key elements of Marcuse’s philosophy and demonstrates its enduring relevance. As the need for exploring new directions in thought and action becomes more pressing than ever, being guided so brilliantly into the heart of Marcuse’s engaged thinking could hardly be more valuable." - Espen Hammer, Temple University, USA