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ReificationA New Look At An Old Idea$
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Axel Honneth

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195320466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320466.001.0001

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Reification and Recognition: A New Look at an Old Idea

Reification and Recognition: A New Look at an Old Idea

(p.16) (p.17) Reification and Recognition: A New Look at an Old Idea

Axel Honneth

Oxford University Press

During the 1920s and the 1930s, the notion of reification brought about recurring themes that concerned social and cultural critique. This term was used to describe the increasing level of unemployment, the economic crisis, and other such historical events that characterized the Weimar Republic. By combining concepts adapted from prominent philosophers such as Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Georg Simmel, George Lukács was able to come up with a three-part dissertation—“Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat” which prompted that the forms of life in such circumstances be examined as a consequence of social reification. This chapter illustrates four indicators which demonstrate how the term reification has veered away from the definition it acquired from the Weimar Republic and has moved toward a more theoretical discourse.

Keywords:   Weimar Republic, George Lukács, Weber, Marx, Simmel, reification, consciousness, proletariat, social reification, theoretical discourse

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