The social life of things according to Marx and Lukács
the critique of reification defended against consumerist and actor-network theories
The essay defends the classical critique of reification against the anti-critical tendencies of actor-network theory and theories of consumer society. The mode of being of "things" and their role in human social life were, as this essay shows, already outlined by Karl Marx and Georg Lukács. More recent approaches to conceptualizing thinghood, by comparison, tend to treat things in a sweeping and one-dimensional way, unnecessarily giving away the critical potential of the critique of commodification. This is due to widespread but truncated reading of Marx and Lukács, found especially in Bruno Latour and ecological Marxism. With a re-reading of Marx and Lukács that is more open to ontological questions, this essay shows how things, including natural things, may come back into their own.
Jurga Saulius, Kavoulakos Konstantinos (2021) Reification. Metodo 9 (2).
Henning Christoph (2021) „The social life of things according to Marx and Lukács: the critique of reification defended against consumerist and actor-network theories“. Metodo 9 (2), 171–204.