Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Work of Henri Lefebvre

 by Stanley Aronowitz, Situations, 2007

THE ANGLO-AMERICAN reception of Henri Lefebvre (1901-1991) is a classic case of mis-recognition. Although he has been called a sociologist, an urbanist, and a social theorist, he has rarely been understood as a philosopher. The recently translated third volume of the Critique of Everyday Life should correct past impressions, not only because Lefebvre himself subtitles the book “Toward a meta-philosophy of everyday life,” but the work makes original contributions to philosophy. It is not excessive to claim that he is the ecophilosopher of the 21st century, for he made the connection between the massive despoiling of the global ecosystems, the new shape of social time and social space and the struggle for the transformation of everyday life which, he claims, is the key to the project of changing life and repairing our collective relationship to nature.

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