This sociological critique of the ‘philosophy of praxis’ looks at the importance of the concept in the social theory of leading influential Western Marxists such as Lukács, Gramsci, Korsch, Horkheimer, Marcuse and Adorno in the inter-war period. It offers a detailed critique of Marx and Hegel, and explores the validity and implications for sociology of two of Marx’s ideas which the later theorists made the centre piece of their social theory: first, that true theory is authenticated by praxis, and second, its corollary that certain major social transformations should and would in practice render sociology redundant.
Part 1: Marx’s Theory of Praxis 1. A Starting Point 2. Praxis and Practice in Hegel and Marx Part 2: Georg Lukács: Theoretician of Praxis 3. Lukács to Hegel and Back 6. Towards Conscious Mediations 7. Sociology and Mythology in Lukács Part 3: Antonio Gramsci: Practical Theoretician 8. Gramsci in Context 9. Hegemony and Civil Society 10. Analysing the Historical Bloc Excursus: Myths and the Masses 11. Towards The Ethical State 12. The Unity of Common Sense and Philosophy 13. Inequality and the Unity of Mankind Part 4: Early Critical Theory: The Sociology of Praxis 14. Horkheimer in Context 15. Praxis and Method 16. Sociological Facts and Mass Praxis Excursus: Historical Invariants 17. Philosophical Sociology and Sociological Philosophy 18. Conclusion: The Cunning of Praxis Notes. Bibliography. Index.