Herbert Marcuse

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Herbert Marcuse (German pronunciation: [maʁˈkuːzə]) (July 19, 1898 – July 29, 1979) was a German philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory. Celebrated as the "Father of the New Left,[1]" his best known works are Eros and Civilization, One-Dimensional Man and The Aesthetic Dimension.


Early life

Herbert Marcuse was born in Berlin to Carl Marcuse and Gertrud Kreslawsky and raised in a Jewish family. In 1916 he was drafted into the German Army, but only worked in horse stables in Berlin during World War I. He then became a member of a Soldiers' Council that participated in the aborted socialist Spartacist uprising. He completed his Ph.D. thesis at the University of Freiburg in 1922 on the German Künstlerroman after which he moved back to Berlin, where he worked in publishing. In 1924 he married Sophie Wertheim, a mathematician. He returned to Freiburg in 1928 to study with Edmund Husserl and write a Habilitation with Martin Heidegger, which was published in 1932 as Hegel's Ontology and Theory of Historicity. This study was written in the context of the Hegel renaissance that was taking place in Europe with an emphasis on Hegel's ontology of life and history, idealist theory of spirit and dialectic.[1] With his academic career blocked by the rise of the Third Reich, in 1933 Marcuse joined the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research.

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