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Philosophy and Critical Pedagogy

Insurrection and Commonwealth


Charles Reitz

Critical pedagogy, political economics, and aesthetic theory combine with dialectical and materialist understandings of science, society, and revolutionary politics to develop the most radical goals of society and education. In Philosophy and Critical Pedagogy: Insurrection and Commonwealth, Marcuse’s hitherto misunderstood and neglected philosophy of labor is reconsidered, resulting in a labor theory of ethics. This develops commonwealth criteria of judgment regarding the real and enduring economic and political possibilities that concretely encompass all of our engagement and action. Marcuse’s newly discovered 1974 Paris Lectures are examined and the theories of Georg Lukács and Ernest Manheim contextualize the analysis to permit a critical assessment of the nature of dialectical methodology today. Revolutionary strategy and a common-ground political program against intensifying inequalities of class, race, and gender comprise the book’s commonwealth counter-offensive.


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Peter McLaren and Michael Peters have my heartfelt appreciation for their key support for this volume on critical social theory and critical pedagogy and for its inclusion in their series with Peter Lang Publishing on “Education and Struggle.” Christopher S. Myers, managing director at Peter Lang Publishing, and his team of Stephen Mazur, Sophie Appel, and Bernadette Shade sped this project along and ensured the excellence in the appearance of the fin- ished volume; hence my deep debt of gratitude. Peter Lang's New York City team leader, Farideh Koohi-Kamali, finalized the process with flair. Several long-time colleagues also deserve very special thanks: Tamara Agha-Jaffar, Kevin Anderson, Morteza Ardebili, Frank Baron, David Brodsky, Patricia Pollock Brodsky, Ken Clark, Lloyd Daniel, Jodi Dean, Douglas Dowd, Arnold Farr, Henry Giroux, Ronald K. Goodenow, Gene Grabiner, Jerome Heckmann, Georg G. Iggers, Melanie Jackson-Scott, Peter-Erwin Jansen, Douglas Kellner, Alfred Kisubi, Andrew Lamas, James Lawler, John Marciano, Peter Marcuse, Mehdi Shariati, Michael L. Simmons, Jr., Curtis Smith, David N. Smith, Stephen Spartan, Fred Whitehead, and Valdenia Winn. Roena L. Haynie, my partner of 37 years, has lovingly and painstakingly expedited my endeavors. Weaknesses that persist are mine alone. x philosophy & critical pedagogy Among the essays offered here are several materials previously published. I wish to acknowledge publishers who generously granted permission to reprint, and to thank also those whose formal permission was not necessary when republishing my own work. Chapter One: Transaction Publishers, Piscataway, NJ, for “The Dialectification of Science and Philosophy,” which appears in Gabriel...

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