di Matteo Gargani

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The current image of Georg Lukács (1885-1971) is widely swayed by an interpretative standard grounded on a deep partition between his young (1910-1918), intermediate (1918-1930) and mature (1930-1971) intellectual production. Despite rejecting an undeniable discontinuity in Lukács’ philosophical evolution, especially between his pre-Marxist works (The Soul and the Forms and Theory of Romance) and the post-1918 Marxist production, I aim for a global reconsideration of Lukács’ philosophy, evaluating a greater unity in his thought. A reflection on ethical problems, specifically on the matter of responsibility, emerges – and not by chance – during different turning points of Lukács’ personal life. On the poverty of Spirit (1913), Tactic and Ethic (1918) and The social responsibility of the philosopher (1960 ca.) are the three essays in which Lukács attempts in different ways to give a philosophical legitimation of some decisive biographical choices, such as his separation from Irma Seidler (1911), his adhesion to the Communist Party (1918) and his acceptance of Socialism, even after the dramatic events of Budapest in 1956. A more unitary consideration of Lukács’ thought could be reached only through a deeper reflection on the content of the ethical problem of responsibility in his thinking. Despite their differences, the essays mentioned above are united in terms of the meaning of a true responsibility, which Lukács conceives always in a direct connection – maybe in an excessively binding way ‒ between individual choice and the course of history.

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