Henri Lefebvre, "Metaphilosophy." Trans. David Pernbach.

Gamsby, Patrick (2018) Henri Lefebvre, "Metaphilosophy." Trans. David Pernbach. Philosophy In Review, 38 (1). pp. 20-21. ISSN 1920-8936

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This may be a difficult book for some philosophers to read, in a number of ways. First and foremost, it is written by someone who orbits and even penetrates the discipline of philosophy in a professional capacity, yet he is calling for its end. More precisely, its author, Henri Lefebvre (1901-1991), is saying stop whatever philosophy you’re currently doing. On the one hand, this is a clarion call to philosophers around the world to take philosophy to its limits and beyond. On the other hand, it offers a bleak take on the contemporary relevance of philosophical inquiry. To Lefebvre, much of philosophy is moribund and has been so for some time. That is, of course, if it is not already dead. Lefebvre identifies eleven aporia that he deems to be at the heart of philosophy’s withering away, all of which detail the contradiction of the gap between the real and the idea; everyday life and the privileged position of the philosopher. In a way, it could even be seen as anti-philosophy. Regardless of where it stands on any philosophical purity spectrum, it is above all inspired by Marx’s famous theses on Feuerbach, specifically the eleventh thesis: ‘Philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it.’ Lefebvre is, essentially, saying that the world cannot change if philosophy does not change, and the world ought to change.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14475
Item ID: 14475
Additional Information: Book review
Department(s): Memorial University Libraries
Date: 14 February 2018
Date Type: Publication
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