Being Praxis: The Structure of Praxis Philosophy – Outlined by the Refutation of Contemporary Criticism

In Dominik Novkovic & Alexander Akel (eds.), Karl Marx – Philosophie, Pädagogik, Gesellschaftstheorie und Politik. Kassel: Kassel University Press. pp. 174-196 (2018)
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Abstract

Before it succumbed to political censorship in Croatia in 1974 and afterward, a movement known as praxis philosophy reached its pinnacle as a critical response to the conceptually and socially corrupted dialectical and historical materialism which dominated the former Yugoslavian region. Two of the most prominent philosophers of "praxis movement" – Milan Kangrga and Gajo Petrović – the Praxists – remained to be an inspirational source for junior and senior scholars to date. Recently, a debate was initiated regarding the value of "praxis philosophy", and has notably produced a series of assessments that were atypical in comparison to virtually all previous reviews. The praxis movement was scorned by many commentators who concluded that Praxists were logically inconsistent and that their errors were covered up by too abstract, confusing concepts that lacked proper articulation. Among other things, it was significantly pointed out that their philosophical investigations neither had nor will have any useful application in our society. In this paper, I offer (1) a refutation of these conclusions by (2) describing the structure of praxis philosophy, thus far absent from praxis studies. My ultimate objective was to show that Praxists intentionally developed an alternative philosophical thought to subdue the type of thinking which is fundamental for sterile criticism, and thus I aimed to explain that Praxists self-consciously chose to oppose the approach they were accused of neglecting. Their central idea was to send a message opposite of what their recent criticists think they failed to do.

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Luka Perušić
University of Zagreb

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