Philosophy

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The racialist agenda of the “Decolonise Education” movement

By Joe Mount, 24 February 2017

The classification of philosophers based on their skin colour, rather than their place in the historical development of human thought, is combined with an attack on the entire progressive tradition of the Enlightenment.

Slavoj Žižek: From pseudo-left to new right

By Peter Schwarz, 8 February 2016

In an article published in Der Spiegel, Slovenian academic Slavoj Žižek gives free rein to his hatred of the oppressed.

Foreword to The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left: A Marxist Critique

Part Three

By David North, 23 July 2015

The polemical essays in this volume examine the complex interaction between history, philosophy and politics. It is vital reading for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of classical Marxism.

Foreword to The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left: A Marxist Critique

Part Two

By David North, 22 July 2015

The polemical essays in this volume examine the complex interaction between history, philosophy and politics. It is vital reading for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of classical Marxism.

Foreword to The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left: A Marxist Critique

Part One

By David North, 21 July 2015

The polemical essays in this volume examine the complex interaction between history, philosophy and politics. It is vital reading for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of classical Marxism.

The anti-Marxism of Yanis Varoufakis

By Nick Beams, 28 February 2015

Varoufakis completely distorts Marx’s analysis of capitalism in order to justify his program of trying to save capitalism from itself.

The slaughter in Oslo

By Peter Schwarz, 25 July 2011

The murder of at least 92 people in Oslo signals the emergence of fascist terrorist violence animated by a hatred of Marxism and the working class.

Zizek in Manhattan: An intellectual charlatan masquerading as “left”

By Bill Van Auken and Adam Haig, 12 November 2010

The Slovenian academic Slavoj ‌‌Zizek spoke in New York Monday, wandering frenetically between complacent observations about austerity in Europe, warnings of ecological catastrophes and digressions into sado-pornographic facets of popular culture.

The Nation, Jonathan Israel and the Enlightenment

By Ann Talbot and David North, 9 June 2010

On 12 May this year, the Nation magazine published an article entitled “Mind the Enlightenment.” It is an intellectually unprincipled and vindictive attack on Professor Jonathan Israel’s multi-volume history of the development of the Enlightenment and its relationship to social and political radicalism in the century leading up to the outbreak of the French Revolution.

The ghost of Thomas Hobbes

By Ann Talbot, 12 May 2010

A comment on an article by Corey Robin in the Nation magazine that lined up seventeenth century British philosopher Thomas Hobbes alongside the Italian Futurists and Friedrich Nietzsche as a “blender of cultural modernism and political reaction”.

The “Hegel renaissance” and other questions

A comment on The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy

By Alexander Fangmann, 5 November 2009

Last year saw the publication of The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. The volumes of the Cambridge Companion series contain collections of essays by scholars working on a particular philosopher or subject area.

The “Hegel renaissance” and other questions: Part 2

A comment on The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy

By Alexander Fangmann, 4 November 2009

Last year saw the publication of The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. The volumes of the Cambridge Companion series contain collections of essays by scholars working on a particular philosopher or subject area.

The “Hegel renaissance” and other questions: Part 1

A comment on The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy

By Alexander Fangmann, 3 November 2009

Last year saw the publication of The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. The volumes of the Cambridge Companion series contain collections of essays by scholars working on a particular philosopher or subject area.

Letters on Steiner, Brenner and Neo-Marxism: The Marcusean Component

9 January 2009

A selection of letters sent to the WSWS on “Steiner, Brenner and Neo-Marxism: The Marcusean Component,” an essay by Adam Haig.

Steiner, Brenner and Neo-Marxism: The Marcusean Component

By Adam Haig, 2 January 2009

As a supporter of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) who has been following the political and philosophical charges of Alex Steiner and Frank Brenner, the author of this paper is interested in addressing their embrace of critical theorist Herbert Marcuse.

Letters on “The Frankfurt School vs. Marxism”

8 November 2008

The WSWS received the following letters on “The Frankfurt School vs. Marxism: The Political and Intellectual Odyssey of Alex Steiner” and “Marxism and Science: An addendum to ‘The Frankfurt School vs. Marxism’”

The Political and Intellectual Odyssey of Alex Steiner—Part 3

By David North, 24 October 2008

The following is the final part of a three-part essay. The first part was posted October 23 and the second part was posted October 22. Click here to download PDF versions of Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

The Frankfurt School vs. Marxism:

The Political and Intellectual Odyssey of Alex Steiner—Part 2

By David North, 23 October 2008

In the autumn of 1978, as the Workers League was in the final stages of moving its political headquarters from New York to Detroit, Alex Steiner left the party without any explanation. Steiner had previously resigned from the movement in 1973, during a political crisis in the Workers League that culminated in the resignation of its national secretary, Tim Wohlforth. Steiner rejoined the party in the summer of 1974. But his second departure in 1978 brought his career in the revolutionary movement to an end. In his last discussion with me prior to his departure, Steiner said, “Life is very grim.” I often recalled these words, because they articulated not simply the personal dejection of an individual, but also the pessimism and demoralization of the broader milieu of petty-bourgeois radical intellectuals. Nevertheless, I regretted Steiner’s departure from the Workers League. Particularly after he rejoined the Workers League in 1974, we had collaborated on several theoretical projects. However, Steiner’s intellectual abilities were undermined by his extreme emotional volatility, susceptibility to discouragement when confronted with problems, and pessimistic view of life.

The Frankfurt School vs. Marxism:

The Political and Intellectual Odyssey of Alex Steiner—Part 1

By David North, 22 October 2008

In May-June 2006, I wrote Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness, a reply to an attack on the International Committee of the Fourth International by Alex Steiner and Frank Brenner, two former members of the Workers League (predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party) who had left the revolutionary socialist movement in the late 1970s. Unabashed by the many years that they had spent in political retirement, Steiner and Brenner, in a document entitled Objectivism or Marxism, denounced the theoretical work, political activity, and organizational practices of the SEP and ICFI. Steiner/Brenner claimed that the International Committee was opposed to dialectics and failed to conduct a struggle against pragmatism.

Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness

Parts 20-22

By David North, 10 September 2007

Mehring Books has published a new book by David North, Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness, which is now available for purchase online. It was written in reply to a critique of the work of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), entitled “Objectivism or Marxism,” by Alex Steiner and Frank Brenner, two former members of the Workers League (predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party).

Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness

Parts 17-19

By David North, 7 September 2007

Mehring Books has published a new book by David North, Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness, which is now available for purchase online. It was written in reply to a critique of the work of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), entitled “Objectivism or Marxism,” by Alex Steiner and Frank Brenner, two former members of the Workers League (predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party).

Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness

Parts 14-16

By David North, 5 September 2007

Mehring Books has published a new book by David North, Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness, which is now available for purchase online. It was written in reply to a critique of the work of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), entitled “Objectivism or Marxism,” by Alex Steiner and Frank Brenner, two former members of the Workers League (predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party).

Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness

Parts 11-13

By David North, 31 August 2007

Mehring Books has published a new book by David North, Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness, which is now available for purchase online. It was written in reply to a critique of the work of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), entitled “Objectivism or Marxism,” by Alex Steiner and Frank Brenner, two former members of the Workers League (predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party).

Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness

Parts 8-10

By David North, 29 August 2007

Mehring Books has published a new book by David North, Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness, which is now available for purchase online. It was written in reply to a critique of the work of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), entitled “Objectivism or Marxism”, by Alex Steiner and Frank Brenner, two former members of the Workers League (predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party).

Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness

Part 4-7

By David North, 27 August 2007

Mehring Books has published a new book by David North, Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness, which is now available for purchase online. It was written in reply to a critique of the work of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), entitled “Objectivism or Marxism.”, by Alex Steiner and Frank Brenner, two former members of the Workers League (predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party).

Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness

Parts 1-3

By David North, 24 August 2007

Mehring Books has published a new book by David North, Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness, which is now available for purchase online. Last Friday, we began publication of the book’s text. The Foreword was posted on August 17, and below we post Parts 1-3.

Science, religion and society: Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion

By Joe Kay, 15 March 2007

In his new book, Dawkins has done us a service, if only in making more acceptable the general proposition that religion and science are at odds with each other, and that it is science that should win out.

Hegel, Marx, Engels, and the Origins of Marxism

A review of Marx After Marxism: The Philosophy of Karl Marx by Tom Rockmore

By David North, 3 May 2006

The following is second of a two-part series. The first part can be read here.

Hegel, Marx, Engels, and the Origins of Marxism

A review of Marx After Marxism: The Philosophy of Karl Marx by Tom Rockmore

By David North, 2 May 2006

The following is the first of a two-part series. The second part will be posted tomorrow.

A closer look at Kierkegaard

By Tom Carter, 17 April 2006

Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography, by Joachim Garff, translated by Bruce H. Kirmmse. 867 pages, Princeton University Press, $35

Spinoza Reconsidered

Jonathan Israel, Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750 Oxford University Press

By Ann Talbot, 26 August 2003

I last reviewed Jonathan Israel’s Radical Enlightenment on this site in 2001 just after it came out in hardback. Why return to it now? The book itself would justify another review since it is a large and rich work that delves deeply into early Enlightenment history and repays reading and rereading. There is always something more to find in it. A first impression of such a book will inevitably represent a limited judgement and fail to do it complete justice. It is also now out in paperback.

Investigating the foundations of equality

God, Locke and Equality by Jeremy Waldron

By Ann Talbot, 16 June 2003

Professor Jeremy Waldron’s latest book is an examination of the theory of equality put forward by the seventeenth century English philosopher John Locke. This is a subject that is highly relevant today as the widening social gulf between the super rich and the rest of the population increasingly undermines the political institutions that have been based on the maintenance of at least a measure of social and economic equality.

Spinoza revisited

Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity1650-1750, by Jonathan I. Israel, Oxford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-19-820608-9, £30.00

7 August 2001

To talk favourably of the Enlightenment has become something of a taboo in recent years. Some writers deny its existence, while others present it as a reactionary development. It is therefore refreshing to find a serious treatment of the intellectual trends of the late 17th and early 18th century that is not afraid to identify the Enlightenment as a progressive movement, which is associated with the rise of rational thought and a belief in equality and democracy.

An exchange with a reader on postmodernism

4 December 2000

We received the following letter on the article “The post-modernist wonderland: Intellectual Impostures by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont” [http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/jul2000/post-j01.shtml] posted July 1, 2000 on the World Socialist Web Site . A reply by the article's author Stefan Steinberg follows.

Two letters and two replies on "The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi"—Part 2

2 November 2000

On April 3-5, 2000 the WSWS published a three-part series entitled, “The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi.” Today we are posting the second of two letters criticizing the articles, and a reply by the author of the series, Alex Steiner.

Two letters and two replies on "The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi"

1 November 2000

On April 3-5, 2000 the WSWS published a three-part series entitled, “The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi.” Today and tomorrow we will post two letters from readers criticizing the articles, and replies by the author of the series, Alex Steiner.

One hundred years since the death of Friedrich Nietzsche: a review of his ideas and influence—Part 3

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 October 2000

The following is the conclusion of a three-part series.

One hundred years since the death of Friedrich Nietzsche: a review of his ideas and influence—Part 2

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 October 2000

The following is the second of a three-part series. The concluding part will be posted tomorrow.

One hundred years since the death of Friedrich Nietzsche: a review of his ideas and influence—Part 1

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 October 2000

The following is the first of a three-part series. The remaining parts will be posted over the next two days.

The post-modernist wonderland: Intellectual Impostures by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont

By Stefan Steinberg, 1 July 2000

Intellectual Impostures should be read by all those who have an interest in modern ideological trends, in particular, the various somewhat nebulous schools of thought included under the hybrid term “postmodernism”.

A letter on "The Case of Martin Heidegger"

15 April 2000

The following letter was received in response to the series "The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi," which appeared on the WSWS April 3-5.

The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi

Part 3: History, Philosophy and Mythology

By Alex Steiner, 5 April 2000

We are posting today the concluding part of a series on the life and work of twentieth century German philosopher Martin Heidegger.

The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi

Part 2: The Cover-up

By Alex Steiner, 4 April 2000

We continue today a series on the life and work of twentieth century German philosopher Martin Heidegger. The final part will posted tomorrow, April 5.

The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi

Part 1: The Record

By Alex Steiner, 3 April 2000

We begin today a three-part series on the life and work of twentieth century German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Part 2 will be posted on Tuesday, April 4 and Part 3 will appear on Wednesday, April 5.

A postmodernist attack on science

The End of Science, Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age by John Horgan, Little Brown and Company, 1996

By Chris Talbot, 18 May 1999

John Horgan is a science journalist who writes for Scientific American. His book was originally published in 1996, updated in 1997 and recently brought out as a paperback. It is a collection of interviews with dozens of leading scientists, to which Horgan has added also his own reflections and opinions on the state of modern science. Whilst many of the interviews are interesting in their own right, the book's main significance is Horgan's attack on science from a postmodernist standpoint. It is symptomatic of an anti-science trend which has emerged in the last decade or so.