Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 12, 2018


Roit Dahan
Pages 85-90

The Individual between Reason and Inclination
Marcuse’s Critique of Freud and Kant

Marcuse critiques the positions of Kant and Freud regarding the emancipation of reason. According to Kant and Freud, the individual attains autonomy via reason and consciousness. Marcuse claims that the concept of rationalism is rooted in the same social order that created the oppression! Thus, we must re-examine that concept in order to establish freedom and happiness. Marcuse believes that reason, in its accepted sense in Western philosophy, does not confer immunity from manipulation of consciousness. Reason’s advanced achievements do not lead to liberation; in fact, they lead to unnecessary oppression and suffering. Thus, we must establish freedom in a completely different dimension – one that will be the foundation for the reorganization of society. In this paper I will argue that Marcuse’s ideas regarding a new social order are not necessarily utopian. According to Marcuse, a change in the conception of a rational life style is necessary for the achievement of a true, free consciousness. Thus, a new social order, that aspires to reducing the time spent on alienating work alongside enlarging leisure time and deepening interpersonal relations, will create possible conditions to proceeds towards freedom and peace.