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Lukács, Georg [György Szegedy von Lukács] (1885–1971)


Subject Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art » Aesthetics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405169226.2009.x


Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary critic; a member of Nagy's shortlived government in 1956. His work on aesthetics includes theory and its application in a wide range of literary studies. His career and his study of aesthetics falls into two main parts: his preMarxist period extending until the end of World War I, and that following his conversion to Marxism. His interest in aesthetics is a main factor connecting his pre-Marxist and his Marxist writings. When he converted to Marxism, he had already written two books on aesthetics. Marx and Engels provided hints, but did not develop a systematic theory of the subject. Lukács's claim that his own contribution is the first attempt to work out a Marxist aesthetic theory in systematic form has gained acceptance. His brilliant early Marxist work, History and Class Consciousness (1923 ), has profoundly influenced the Marxist discussion but has had little impact on non-Marxist philosophy. His contribution to aesthetic theory may ultimately turn out to be his most important contribution to philosophy in general. Although his views on aesthetics have attracted more attention than other aspects of his position, they have not been discussed as often as their intrinsic importance seems to merit. With some exceptions, studies of his aesthetic ideas seem mainly to be confined to his later Marxist position, with little attention to his ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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