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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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Philosophy and Pedagogy of Insurrection

byPeter McLaren

In these times of dark limos, gated communities, drone warfare, secret torture centers, and endless austerity for the masses, where narcissism and greed among the ruling class are as prevalent as dust mites, we have witnessed a deflationary enthusiasm over critical analysis in our institutions of learning. In this era of guileful artisanship in news broadcasting, when communication and monopolized information are meant to deceive and instill hate, we, as critical educators, are compelled to struggle for meaningful, emancipatory knowledge and effective teaching strategies. Above all in importance, however, there is a special need for philosophy today among those of us working in the field of revolutionary critical pedagogy. I have stressed this in a recent essay, “On Dialectics and Human Decency.”1 We need a philosophically grounded alternative to capitalism. We need to consider alternatives to capitalist value production. We need a sustainable form of economic organization in order for the planet to survive and human and non-human life along with it.

← xiii | xiv →Charles Reitz has prepared a full-dress response to my call with this volume, Philosophy & Critical Pedagogy: Insurrection & Commonwealth. His new work is more than a major contribution to critical pedagogy and its ongoing dialogue with continental philosophy, particularly the work of Marcuse; it is a signal effort that speaks to the distemper of the times through a path-finding exercise in critical theoretical and historical exegesis. Reitz has a...

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