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This remarkable text, first published in 1964, was a landmark of its era and remains, in the words of Michael Löwy, a work of “remarkable richness.” Drawing on Georg Lukács’ History and Class Consciousness, Lucien Goldmann applies the concept of “world visions” to flesh out the similarities between Pascal’s Pensées and Kant’s critical philosophy, contrasting them with the rationalism of Descartes and the empiricism of Hume.
For Goldmann, a leading exponent of the most fruitful method of applying Marxist ideas to literary and philosophical problems, the “tragic vision” marked an important phase in the development of European thought, as it moved from rationalism and empiricism to the dialectical philosophy of Hegel, Marx and Lukàcs. Here he offers a general approach to the problems of philosophy, of literary criticism, and of the relationship between thought and action in human society.
“The Hidden God was one of the major works of social science of Marxist inspiration of the 1950s; and it remains today a text of remarkable richness, opening up an impressive number of paths for reflection.”
“It seems to me extraordinary, looking back, that I did not then [while writing The Long Revolution] know the work of Lukács or of Goldmann, which would have been highly relevant to it, and especially as they were working within a more conscious tradition and in less radical an isolation … it is easy to imagine my feelings when I discovered an active and developed Marxist theory, in the work of Lukács and Goldmann, which was exploring many of the same areas with many of the same concepts, but also with others in a quite different range.”
“One of the most important thinkers of the Marxist method in sociology, philosophy and literary criticism.”