Herbert Marcuse  
26 Magnolia Ave. 
Newton 58, Mass.
March 22, 1963    

Dr. Karel Kosik
Filosoficky ustav CSAV
Hradcanské nam. 11
Praha 1, Czechoslovakia

My Dear Sir Dr. Karel Kosik:

I am happy to respond to your letter of the 6th of March regarding my interpretation of Heidegger in 1928. I no longer have access to the passage and therefore cannot comment upon it, but I would like to provide some idea of my current position. Today I would reject any attempt to assert an intrinsic (or extrinsic!) affinity between Heidegger and Marx. Heidegger’s affirmative stance with regard to Nazism, is in my opinion, nothing but an expression of the deeply anti-humane, anti-intellectual, historically reactionary, and life-repudiating tendencies of his philosophy. In recent decades, this philosophy, stripped of its political dimension, is without substance and cannot be taken seriously: endlessly repeating meaningless questions that endlessly remain unanswered―because they are not genuine questions. Beyond that, wordplay that gropes in the dark and does violence to the language while engaged in a Teutonic phantasy (in every other language this wordplay is lost and it simply becomes untranslatable!). My position today may best be represented by my book, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud. Even more so by my work which will appear this December on the structure and ideology of advanced industrial society. [1] If you would like, I could gladly have the former sent to you. It is very good to know that people are somewhat aware of my Hegel-book where you are.

With regard to your question about the relationship between Heidegger and Lukács, I remember having heard from Heidegger himself that he had never read Lukács. I have no reason to doubt that.

Please don’t hesitate to write me again if you have further questions.

With my best regards and best wishes,

[1] One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. Boston: Beacon Press.

Translated by Charles Reitz

SOURCE: Marcuse, Herbert. Letter to Karel Kosík, March 22, 1963, translated by Charles Reitz. Appears here with permission of the translator.

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Letter: Herbert Marcuse to Kosik, March 22, 1963
(trans. Charles Reitz)

Karel Kosík - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Karel Kosík (26 June 1926 - 21 February 2003)
(blog, 28 June 2015 - )

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[editorial preface & chapter 1]

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