The work of Georg Lukács shaped many of the central debates of twentieth-century thought, from politics to philosophy and aesthetics. His ideas once stood at the very center of the historical and ideological conflicts of twentieth century. A progenitor of critical theory, philosopher of extraordinary originality and intellectual power, and a controversial aesthetician and literary critic, Lukács’ work still possesses relevance to our current debates and ideas. Central to his work was a deepening of a humanistic critique of capitalism .
With the collapse of communism, the weakening of the influence of Marxism and the emergence and proliferation of postmodern culture, the conditions of reception of the legacy of Lukács have changed significantly. This has only been accentuated by the attacks against his person and his work, as lastly by the announcement of the closing down of the Lukács Archives in Budapest.
This international conference will seek to examine, expand, and explore Lukács’ ideas and their continued relevance for contemporary thought. How do Lukács’ ideas retain their salience and importance amid current philosophical and theoretical debates no less than the global dominance of capitalist culture that he so decisively critiqued ?
We would like to raise the question of the contemporary validity of Lukács’ legacy: which aspects of his thought can be regarded as leading ideas for us in philosophy, aesthetics, literary history, the human sciences in general, but not least in politics? How do his central ideas help make sense of a globalized world shot through with commodification, consumerism, political defeatism and the emergence of irrational tendencies in politics, left and right?
These are some of the questions and themes that this conference, to be held in Budapest in the spring of 2017, proposes to discuss.