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Form, technique and liberation: Schiller’s influence on Marcuse’s philosophy of technology

Authors
  • Souza, Juliano Bonamigo Ferreira de1
  • 1 Centre de Philosophie du Droit Collège Thomas More Université de Louvain (UCLouvain), Place Montesquieu 2 (Bte 15) Bureau B 155 B-1348 , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Human Affairs
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Oct 09, 2020
Volume
30
Issue
4
Pages
535–544
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/humaff-2020-0046
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
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Abstract

This article seeks to analyze the theory of technology formulated by the philosopher Herbert Marcuse (1898–1979). It shows the ways in which the author repurposes fundamental concepts of classical aesthetics in order to formulate a theory of technology aimed at liberating both nature and humanity. To this end, we argue that Marcuse mobilizes the theories of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) and Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805). In the first part of the article, we tackle some important aspects of Kant’s and Schiller’s aesthetic theories. We begin with an analysis of Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment (1790), focusing on central concepts that would later be absorbed by Schiller and Marcuse. Next, we try to show the reception of the Third critique in Schiller’s On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1795) and this author’s contribution to aesthetic studies within political thought. In the second part, we focus on Marcuse’s work, highlighting two key moments in his analysis on technology. We show that his theory undergoes transformation and development until it reaches its stable form in the 1960s and 1970s, during which the author proposes a new theory of technology based on human aesthetic possibilities whose goal is the liberation of nature.

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