Theses Bachelor's

Reified Thinking: An Essay On Lukács' Critique of Kant's Philosophy

Jarmel-Schneider, Jaden

In his essay, "The Antinomies of Bourgeois Thought", György Lukács asserts the radical claim that “modern critical philosophy springs from the reified structure of consciousness.” This essay explores what precisely he means in each clause of this claim: why he takes philosophical and political issue with modern critical philosophy—the philosophy of Kant, what causal scheme he means by “springs from,” and how this claim contributes to his larger project of understanding, diagnosing, and curing the reified structure of consciousness in modernity. This investigation is divided into three sections. In the first section, I investigate why Kant’s philosophy is a useful political and philosophical target for Lukács. In the second, I investigate how Lukács attempts to establish the causality in this radical claim. In the third, I raise two questions and offer two criticisms of his attempt at establishing social and theoretical causality. This essay argues that while politically useful, Lukács' radical claim is philosophically unsound. Even more, Lukács’ effort to draw a link between the social and intellectual world appears to ensnare him in a metaphilosophical antinomy of his own.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Honneth, Axel
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 25, 2022