Social Structure and Forms of Consciousness: Vol. 1 – The Social Determination of Method
“The Pathfinder” of 21st Century Socialism". -Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela
Today, as never before, the investigation of the close relationship between social structure – defined by Marx as “arising from the life-process of definite individuals” – and the various forms of consciousness is particularly important. We can only perceive what is possible by first identifying the historical process that constrains consciousness itself, and therefore social action.
The relationship between social structure and forms of consciousness discussed in this new work by one of the world’s leading Marxism philosophers is multifaceted and profoundly dialectical. It requires the presentation of a great wealth of historical material and the assessment of the relevant philosophical literature, from Descartes through Hegel and the Liberal tradition to the present, together with their connections with political economy and political theory. István Mészáros moves beyond both abstract solutions to the surveyed methodological questions and one-sided structuralist evaluation of the important substantive issue, bringing the process of our understanding of social structure and consciousness to a level not previously attained.
Above all, in the spirit of the Marxian approach, even the most complicated problems are analyzed in relation to the major practical concerns of our time. Social Structure and Forms of Consciousness is of the highest importance as both a political and philosophical work, illuminating the place from where we must act, today.
Istvan Meszarosleft his native Hungary after the Soveit invasion in1956. He is professor emeritus at the University of Sussex, where he has the chair of philosophy for fifteen years. Meszaros is author ofThe Structured Crisis of Capital, The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time, Beyond Capital: Toward a Theory of Transition,andMarx’s Theory of Alienation, among other books.