Dialectics of the Concrete: A Study on Problems of Man and by Karel Kosík (auth.)

By Karel Kosík (auth.)

Kosik writes that the historical past of a textual content is in a definite experience the background of its interpretations. within the fifteen years that experience handed because the fust (Czech) variation of his Dialectics of the Concrete, this publication has been largely learn and interpreted all through Europe, in assorted facilities of scholarship in addition to in inner most stories. a devoted English language variation is lengthy past due. This booklet of KosIk's paintings would definitely impress a number of new interpretations. For its subject is the characterization of technology and of rationality within the context of the social roots of technology and the social critique which an competently rational technological know-how should still have the funds for. Kosik's query is: How shall Karl Marx's realizing of technology itself be understood? and the way can it's additional constructed? In his therapy of the query of clinical rationality, Kosik drives bluntly into the problems of gravest human trouble, no longer the least of that's how you can keep away from the pseudo-concrete, the pseudo-scientific, the pseudo-rational, the pseudo­ old. beginning with Marx's methodological process, of "ascending from the summary to the concrete", Kosik develops a critique of positivism, of phenomenalist empiricism, and of "metaphysical" rationalism, counter­ posing them to "dialectical rationalism". he is taking the class of the concrete within the dialectical experience of that which involves be recognized via the lively transformation of nature and society via human purposive activity.

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At the same time, the everyday is a world whose dimensions and potentialities an individual can control and calculate with his abilities and resources. In the everyday, everything is 'at hand' and an individual can realize his intentions. This is why it is a world of confidence, familiarity, and routine actions. Death, sickness, births, successes and failures are all accountable events of everyday life. In the everyday, the individual develops relations on basis of his own experience, his own possibilities, his own activity, and therefore considers the everyday reality to be his own world.

24 Hypostatizing the whole and favoring it over its parts (over facts) is one path that leads to a false totality instead of to a concrete one. If the whole process represented a reality which would be indeed genuine and higher than facts, then reality could exist independently of facts, independently in particular of facts that would contradict it. The formulation that hypostatizes the whole over the facts and treats it autonomously provides a theoretical substantiation for subjectivism which in turn ignores facts and violates them in the name of a 'higher reality'.

In life man belongs to care,' Herder has said. What then is care? To start with, care is not a psychological state or a negative frame of mind which would alternate with a different, positive one. Care is the subjectively transposed reality of man as an objective subject. Man is always already enmeshed in situations and relationships through his existence which is one of activity - though it may manifest itself as absolute passivity and abstention. Care is the entanglement of the individual in a network of relationships that confront him as the practical-utilitarian world.

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