The ethical demands of reification
Considering recent failed attempts to derive an ethical theory from Georg Lukács’s original formulation of reification, this paper offers an alternative more rooted in Lukács’s theory as a whole. By analyzing his critique of the empty Ought in Kant and Fichte, followed by his advocacy of substantial, materially-grounded Oughts in his late Ontology, I suggest that we can nevertheless find latent possibilities for grounding such values even in his theory of reification. Drawing on recent interpretations of Lukács that emphasize his debt to Neo-Kantianism, Husserl et al, I argue that one of Lukács’s central critiques of reification is precisely its expulsion of substantial values from formal social relationships. This implies, I suggest, a structural demand to reincorporate such values within relations, so that they might reach valid form; I conclude with some suggestions on the ethical demands this might entail.
Jurga Saulius, Kavoulakos Konstantinos (2021) Reification. Metodo 9 (2).
Westerman Richard (2021) „The ethical demands of reification“. Metodo 9 (2), 51–88.