Towards a theory of action: ontology and politics as foundations of Herbert Marcuse’s dialectical phenomenology

Keywords: dialectics, Herbert Marcuse, historical materialism, ontology, politics


This article seeks to analyze the modes of composition of the so-called dialectical phenomenology, proposed by Herbert Marcuse in 1928. It is one of his first writings, in which the author seeks to think of a theory of action whose starting point are the historical analyses derived from the historical materialism of Marx and Engels, orchestrated with the existential analytic provided by Being and time, by Heidegger. In order to interpret this pioneering philosophical architecture, (1) we will first show how Marcusean method establishes the understanding of a historical situation. (2) In the second section, we analyze how Marcuse interprets, in a very original way, the ontological aspects of Dasein. (3) In the last part, it is about showing how Marcuse operates a junction of both analyses in order to argue the need for a transforming action on the unveiled social alienation. Together, these three movements seek to emphasize the social concern that has always occupied Herbert Marcuse’s philosophical reflections.

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Author Biography

Juliano Bonamigo Ferreira de Souza, Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) / Centre de Philosophie du Droit (CPDR)
holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of São Paulo (2014) and a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCLouvain, 2017), having defended a dissertation on the role of historicity [Geschicklichkeit] in the writings of young Marcuse. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for Philosophy of Law (CPDR) at the Catholic University of Louvain, tracing the implications between aesthetics and epistemology, from Kant and the early Romanticism [Frühromantik], to the ecological and technological thinking of Herbert Marcuse  


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How to Cite
Ferreira de Souza, J. B. (2020). Towards a theory of action: ontology and politics as foundations of Herbert Marcuse’s dialectical phenomenology. Estudios De Filosofía, (62).
Original or Research articles