By Henri Lefebvre
The Critique of daily life is likely to be the richest, such a lot prescient paintings of 1 of this century's maximum philosophers. A historian and sociologist, Lefebvre constructed his rules over seven a long time via highbrow disagreement with figures as varied as Bergson, Breton, Sartre, Debord and Althusser. In flip, those principles had a substantial impact at the such a lot defiantly utopian political activities of contemporary years. Written on the beginning of post-war consumerism, notwithstanding in simple terms now translated into English, the Critique is a booklet of huge variety of subtlety. Lefebvre takes as his startling-point and advisor the 'trivial' information of quotidian event: an adventure colonized by way of the commodity, shadowed by way of inauthenticity, but which continues to be the one resource of resistance and alter. no matter if he's exploring the commercialization of intercourse or the disappearance of rural festivities, analysing Hegel or Charlie Chaplin, Lefebvre constantly returns to the ubiquity of alienation, the need of riot. this is often an enduringly radical e-book, premature at the present time simply in its intransigence and optimism.
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Additional resources for Critique of Everyday Life, Vol. 1: Introduction
Instrumental reason and its correlated morality, that is, utilitarianism, should both be discarded, Taylor believes. 20 Overcoming epistemology means indeed overcoming an epistemology that is oblivious of its historicity. Overcoming epistemology thus is a call to rectify a mistake. For moral, metaphysical, and political reasons, however, and because a critical standpoint on society must be able to claim truth, we still need criteria to recognize truth. We still need a normative epistemology that will reflect a dialectical ontology, embrace new (noninstrumental) notions of reason, and recognize the relevance of moral values for truth.
This “idealist” ideology,14 as Marx’s critique of Feuerbach shows, prioritizes the essentialist element of Hegel’s system at the cost 32 Politics and the Criteria of Truth of a dialectical analysis. For Marx, ideology in this sense is epistemically false for its failure as a philosophical attempt: It is inconsistent with the truth of dialectical philosophy. In other words, in Marx’s view, if ideas cannot themselves determine or explain historical development, it is because they have no separable existence in themselves.
Can modern epistemology stand this “blasphemy”? After all, what does Marx mean by judging ideology qua reality as false consciousness? Granted, reality can be ethically, as well as politically, judged and given negative value. Nonetheless, how could reality be ever judged as epistemically false? Does Marx not commit a category mistake here? This is a serious issue. Should dialectical materialism discard epistemic judgment about the falsity of ideology qua reality and, in so doing, limit the scope of dialectical criticism to the ethical and the political?