The Social and the Natural

  • Richard Westerman
Part of the Political Philosophy and Public Purpose book series (POPHPUPU)


Lukács later rejected the theory he offered in History and Class Consciousness because of its failure to deal adequately with the existence of a material world outside social relations, and the way humans interact with this world. Andrew Feenberg identifies the same flaw in Lukács’s account, albeit with a quite different evaluation: this omission, he suggests, leads Lukács to ignore elements of domination and repression in our relation to the external world and our own natural drives. Westerman responds to these criticisms by drawing on Lukács’s suggestion that ‘nature’ is defined under capitalism in antinomic form: it is because nature is defined in part as ‘irrational’ that it is socially manifest as a formless substance to be appropriated by social relations. Westerman closes by arguing that Lukács’s theory offers new ways to think of our relations to nature that would be shorn of such elements of repression.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Westerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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