ⓘ Budapest School

Budapest School (Lukacs)

ⓘ Budapest School (Lukacs)

The Budapest School was a school of thought, originally of Marxist humanism, but later of post-Marxism and dissident liberalism that emerged in Hungary in the early 1960s, belonging to so called Hungarian New Left. Its members were students or colleagues of Georg Lukacs. The school was originally oriented towards developing Lukacs later works on social ontology and aesthetics, but quickly began to challenge the paradigm of Lukacsian-Marxism, thus reconstructing contemporary critical theory. Most of the members later came to abandon Marxism. The school also critiqued the "dictatorship over needs" of the Soviet states. Most of the members were forced into exile by the pro-Soviet Hungarian government.

In a letter to The Times Literary Supplement February 15, 1971, Georg Lukacs drew attention to "The Budapest School of Marxism", and helped attract attention to the school from Western Marxism.

Members of the school include Agnes Heller, Ferenc Feher, Gyorgy Markus, Istvan Meszaros, Mihaly Vajda, and Maria Markus, among others. The Budapest Schools writings have been read and researched widely since the 1960s.


1. History

The 1956 Hungarian Revolution was one of the most important political events of Agnes Hellers life, for at this time she saw the effect of the academic freedoms of Marxist critical theory as dangerous to the entire political and social structure of Hungary. The uprising confirmed Hellers ideas that what Karl Marx really intended is for the people to have political autonomy and collective determination of social life.

Lukacs, Heller, and other Marxist critical theorists emerged from the Revolution with the belief that Marxism and socialism needed to be applied to different nations in individual ways, effectively questioning the role of the Soviet Union in Hungarys future. These ideas set Heller on an ideological collision course with the new Moscow-supported government of Janos Kadar: Heller was again expelled from the Communist Party and she was dismissed from the University in 1958 for refusing to indict Lukacs as a collaborator in the Revolution. She was not able to resume her research until 1963, when she was invited to join the Sociological Institute at the Hungarian Academy as a researcher Tormey 4–18 Grumley 5–15.

From 1963 can be seen the emergence of what would later be called the Budapest School, a philosophical forum that was formed by Lukacs to promote the renewal of Marxist criticism in the face of actually existing socialism and its theories. Other participants in the Budapest School included together with Heller her second husband Ferenc Feher, Gyorgy Markus, Mihaly Vajda, and some other scholars with looser connections to the school. The school emphasized the idea of the renaissance of Marxism, described by radical philosophy scholar Simon Tormey as "a flowering of the critical, oppositional potential they believed lay within Marxism and in particular within the early Marx. the Marxism of the individual rich in needs, of solidarity and self-governance. they hoped to precipitate a crisis in those systems that had the temerity to call themselves socialist."

Hellers work from this period, concentrates on themes such as what Marx means to the character of modern societies; liberation theory as applied to the individual; the work of changing society and government from "the bottom up," and affecting change through the level of the values, beliefs and customs of "everyday life". Since 1990, Heller has been more interested in the issues of aesthetics in The Concept of The Beautiful 1998, Time Is Out of Joint 2002, and Immortal Comedy 2005.

The Budapest School carried out research on the political economy of both the Soviet Union and Western capitalism. The school accepted many of the critiques of Soviet planning and inefficiency from Neoclassical Economics, as well as the connection between markets and freedom. The Soviet system was condemned as a dictatorship over needs. The school also analyzed the mixed economies of modern capitalism. Most traditional Marxist economics was jettisoned. Sweden and the Nordic Model was held as a model of the mixed economy and managed capitalism. The school advocated Radical Democracy as a solution to the authoritarian and undemocratic features of the mixed economy.


2. Agnes Heller

Heller was born in 1929. It is well known that she is the most prominent philosopher and aesthetician from Budapest School, and one of the most representative critical theorists from Eastern European Neo-Marxists. She has published more than forty books on social theory, the theory of history, the philosophy of ethics and moral and political philosophy. Since 1990s, she has been paying more attention to issues of aesthetics. She died in 2019.

  • Can Modernity Survive? Cambridge, Berkeley, Los Angeles: Polity Press and University of California Press, 1990.
  • The Grandeur and Twilight of Radical Universalism with Ferenc Feher. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1990.
  • Everyday Life. trans.G.L.Campbell. London, Boston, Melbourne and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984.
  • Doomsday or Deterrence with Ferenc Feher.Armonk,New York,London, Englang: M.E. Sharpe Inc., 1986.
  • Lukacs Revalued. Ed. Agnes Heller. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983.
  • Radical philosophy. Trans.James Wickham. England: Basil Blackwell, 1984.
  • Hungary, 1956 Revisited: The Message of a Revolution A Quarter of a Century After with Ferenc Feher. London, Boston, Sydney: George Allen and Unwin, 1983.
  • Dictatorship Over Needs with Ferenc Feher and Gyorgy Markus. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983.
  • The Postmodern Political Condition with Ferenc Feher. Cambridge, New York: Polity Press, 1989.
  • Eastern Left - Western Left with Ferenc Feher. Cambridge, New York: Polity Press, 1987.
  • Renaissance Man. Trans. Richard E. Allen. London, Boston, Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978.
  • Theory of Feelings. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1979.
  • The Concept of the Beautiful. Ed.Marcia Morgan. Lexington Books, 2012.
  • From Yalta to Glasnost with Ferenc Feher. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd, 1990.
  • Marxisme et Democratie with Ferenc. Feher. Paris: Maspero, 1981.
  • A Theory of History. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982.
  • The Theory of Need in Marx. New York: ST.Martins Press, 1976.
  • Reconstructing Aesthetics. Eds. Agnes Heller and F. Feher. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986.
  • The Time is Out of Joint: Shakespeare as Philosopher of History. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2002.
  • John Rundell ed.,Aesthetics and Modernity: essays by Agnes Heller. New York,: Lexington Books, 2010.
  • A Philosophy of History in Fragments. Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1993.
  • Immortal Comedy.Lanham:Rowman& Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005.
  • A Short History of My Philosophy. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2011.
  • The Humanisation of Socialism with Andras Hegedus and others. London: Allison and Busby, 1976.
  • A Philosophy of Morals. Oxford, Boston: Basil Blackwell, 1990.
  • General Ethics. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989.
  • Beyond Justice. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988.
  • On Instincts. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1979.
  • Biopolitics. The Politics of the Body, Race and Nature. Eds. Agnes Heller and Sonja Puntscher Riekmann. Aldershot, Brookfield USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney: Avebury, 1996.
  • Cserniservszkij Etikai Nezetei. Budapest: Szikra Kiado, 1956.
  • An Ethics of Personality. Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, 1996.
  • The Power of Shame:A Rationalist Perspective. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985.
  • The Challenge of Diversity. Eds.Rainer Baubock and Agnes Heller. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1996.
  • A Theory of Modernity. London: Blackwell Publishers, 1999.

3. Ferenc Feher

Feher wrote an important book called Paradoxical poet in the early 1970s under the influence of Georg Lukacss The Theory of the Novel, and later published some writings about aesthetics and political philosophy with Agnes Heller in Australia and the US. He died in 1994.

  • Negative Philosophy of Music:Positive Results ”,(with Zoltan Feher), New German Critique, No. 4 Winter, 1975.99-111.
  • Review: Grandeur and Decline of a Holistic Philosophy ”, Theory and Society, Vol. 14, No. 6 Nov., 1985, 863-876.
  • The Swan Song of German Khrushchevism, with a Historic Lag: Peter Weiss Die Asthetik des Widerstands ”,New German Critique, No. 30, Autumn, 1983, 157-169.
  • Istvan Bibo and the Jewish Question in Hungary: Notes on the Margin of a Classical Essay ”,New German Critique, No. 21, Issue 3 Autumn, 1980, 3-46.
  • The Pan-Tragic Vision: The Metaphysics of Tragedy”,New Literary History ,Winter, 1980, 245-254.
  • Review: Wolin on Benjamin”, New German Critique, No. 28 Winter, 1983, 170-180.
  • The Last Phase of Romantic Anti-Capitalism: Lukacs Response to the War ”,with Jerold Wikoff, New German Critique, No. 10 Winter, 1977, 139-154.
  • Review: Arato-Breines and Lowy on Lukacs ”, New German Critique, No. 23 Spring, 1981, 131-139.
  • Lukacs and Benjamin: Parallels and Contrasts”,New German Critique, No. 34 Winter, 1985, 125-138.
  • The Transformation of the Kantian Question in Lukacs Heidelberg Philosophy of Art” ,Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, VOLUME 16, NUMBER 2.
  • Lukacs, Benjamin, Theatre”,Theatre Journal , Vol. 37, No. 4. Dec., 1985, 415-425.


4. Gyorgy Markus

Markus left Hungary for Australia in the late 1970s, just like Agnes Heller and Ferenc Feher. He died in 2016. His publications include:

  • Walter Benjamin or The Commodity as Phantasmagoria”.New German Critique, Spring/Summer2001 Issue 83, pp. 3–42.
  • The Hegelian concept of culture”, praxis international, vol.6, no.2, 1986. pp. 113–123.
  • Adornos Wagner”. Thesis Eleven, Vol. 56, No. 1, 25-55 1999.
  • On ideology-critique - critically”. Thesis Eleven. Issue 43. 66-991995.
  • The Paradoxical Unity of Culture:The Arts and the Sciences ”,Thesis Eleven, Vol. 75, No. 1, 7-24 2003.
  • Adorno and Mass Culture: Autonomous Art against Culture Industry”, Thesis Eleven, no.86, August,2006, pp. 67–89.
  • Marxism and Anthropology, Trans. Laczay and G. Markus.Van GORCUM ASSEN, The Netherlands, 1978.
  • The paradigm of language: Wittgenstein, Levi-Strauss, Gadamer”.in John Fekete,ed. The Structural allegory. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,1984.
  • Language and Production: A Critique of the Paradigms. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1986.

5. Mihaly Vajda

Mihaly Andras Vajda is a Szechenyi Prize-winning Hungarian philosopher, professor, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, full member. His work is primarily in the phenomenology of the 20th-century German philosophy and theory in totalitarian societies. Between 1996 and 2000 the Kossuth Lajos University Institute of Philosophy, 2005 to 2009, the Institute for Philosophical Research Director.

He graduated from high school in 1953, and began his tertiary studies at the Lenin Institute. He studied there until 1956, then from 1957 to 1960 he attended and graduated from the Eotvos Lorand University of Sciences, Faculty of Philosophy, German Philosophy faculty. Gyorgy Lukacs accepted among students, the School of Budapest belonged.

Upon completion of undergraduate studies he worked as a primary school teacher, and in 1961, became a scientific assistant at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Institute of Philosophy. In 1967 he defended his candidates dissertation in the philosophy of science. Gradually departed from the Marxist eszmetol, and in 1973 the Budapest schools role in respect of political incompetence and szabaduszova dismissed from the institute became a translator and worked as a language teacher. In 1977, Bremen has been a visiting professor, he lectured until 1980. In the 1980s, more than once was in New York visiting professor. 1991-1992 in Siegen, Kassel in 1994 as a teacher.

In 1989, rehabilitated, and in 1990 the Kossuth Lajos University now University of Debrecen, senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy University professor was appointed. In 1992 he defended his doctoral thesis. In 1994, the MTA Representative Assembly, and in 2000 became chairman of the Committee of the Institute of Philosophy, and in 2001 he was elected to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, e-mail, and in 2007 a full member. Between 1999 and 2002 Szechenyi fellowship researched. 2005 emeritaltak. Also in 2005, the Institute for Philosophical Research was appointed. The institute is headed by 2009.

Research areas at the beginning of his career, the 20th-century phenomenology, Edmund Husserl and Max Schelers work, he later turned to social theory. In this period of fascism until 1995, his book is not jelentethette Hungarian. In the 1970s, towards a critical Marxist written works, most of which are also not jelentethetett it. The regime, the possibility of post-modern philosophy, and the impossibility of questions employed. Furthermore, dealt with philosophy, history, and political philosophy. He published a work in which he compared Husserls theory of the sedimentation of the European sciences with Lukacs concept of reification.

More than eighty publications, they are mainly in Hungarian, English, and German disclose to the public.

He is married with a son and a daughter.


6. Istvan Meszaros

Istvan Meszaros was a Hungarian Marxist philosopher, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Sussex. He held the Chair of Philosophy at Sussex for fifteen years and was earlier Professor of Philosophy and Social Science for four years at York University.

He can be linked to the so-called "Budapest school", a group of Hungarian philosophers who were taught or influenced by Georg Lukacs, including Agnes Heller and Gyorgy Markus.

He left his native Hungary in 1956 after the Soviet invasion and worked for a time in Turin, Italy, before settling in the UK.

He died in 2017.


7. References and further reading

  • Howard, W." Heller, Agnes, Modernity’s pendulum, Thesis Eleven, 1992, 31, 1-13”, in Sociological Abstracts, Vol. 40, no. 51992. P. 2265.
  • A. Hegedus, M. Vajda, and others," Die neue Linke in Ungarn”, Vol. 2., Internationale Marxistische Diskussion No.53, Merve Verlag, Berlin, 1974.
  • Gardiner,Michael. Critique of Everyday Life. London and New York: Routledge, 2000.
  • Fu Qilin, Critique of Grand Narrative and the Construction of Pluralist Aesthetics: A Study of Reconstructing Aesthetics of Budapest School. Harbin, China: Heilongjiang University Press, 2011.
  • Gransow, Volker." Heller, Agnes”, in Robert A. Gorman, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Neo-Marxism. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985.
  • Fu Qilin," on Budapest School’s critique of Frankfurt School’s aesthetics”, Literary Theory and Studies, 2009, num.2
  • Agnes Heller," Preface to A Study of Agnes Heller’s Thoughts on Aesthetic Modernity by Fu Qilin”,Comparative literature: east & west,2007, num.8
  • Fu Qilin," On Budapest School Aesthetics: An Interview with Agnes Heller”, Thesis Eleven, 2008Aug., Num. 94 Vol.1
  • Fu Qilin," On Budapest School’s Reconstructing Aesthetics”, Studies of Foreign Literature, 2004, num.2.
  • Wolin, Richard." A Radical Philosophy by Agnes Heller”, New German Critique, No. 38, Spring, 1986, 196-202.
  • Fu Qilin, A Study of Agnes Hellers Thoughts about Aesthetic Modernity. Chengdu, China: Bashu Publishing House, 2006.
  • Frankel, Serge and Daniel Martin." The Budapest School,” Telos 17 Fall 1973.
  • Gardiner, Michael." A postmodern utopia? Heller and Ferenc’s critiqueof Messianic Marxism”, in Utopian Studies, vol. 8 no.11997, 89-122.
  • Falk, Barbara J. The Dilemmas of Dissidence in East-Central Europe:Citizen Intellectuals and Philosopher Kings. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2003.
  • Fu Qilin," on Budapest School’s study of influence of market on cultural distribution”, Journal of Langfang teachers’ college, 2007, num.4
  • Waller, William." Towards a Radical Democracy: The Political Economy of the Budapest School by Douglas M. Brown”, Social Science Journal, 1991, Vol. 28, Issue 4.
  • Grumley, John,Paul Crittenden and Pauline Johnson, ed. Culture and Enlightenment: Essays for Gyorgy Markus. Ashgate, Aldershot, 2002.
  • Fu Qilin," A Study of Agnes Heller’s Thoughts on Aesthetic Modernity:Abstract”, Comparative literature: east & west, 2007, num.8
  • Burnheim, John, ed. The Social Philosophy of Agnes Heller. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1994.
  • Turner, Bryan S." Can Modernity Survive? By Agnes Heller”,in Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 21, No. 1Jan. 1992, 128-130.
  • Wolin, Richard." Agnes Heller on Everyday Life”, in Theory & Society, Vol. 16, Issue. 21987, 295-304.
  • Lukacs, George. "The Development of the Budapest School," The Times Literary Supplement, No. 3615 June 11, 1971.
  • Arato, Andrew." The Budapest School and actually existing socialism”, Theory and Society, no.16, 1987.593-619.
  • Lowy, Michael." Introduction: Le bilan globalement negatif”, in Agnes Heller and Ferenc Feher, Marxisme et democratie, trans. Anna Libera. Paris: Maspero, 1981.
  • Roberts, David." Between Home and World: Agnes Heller’s the Concept of the Beautiful”, in Thesis Eleven, no. 591999, 95-101.
  • Murphy, Peter." Agnes Heller and Ferenc Feher, The Grandeur and Twilight of Radical Universalism”, in Theory and Society, vol. 22, no. 41993, 569-575.
  • Gaiger, Jason." The Fake: Forgery and its Place in Art by Sandor Radnoti”. British Journal of Aesthetics, Jul2001, Vol. 41 Issue 3.
  • Fu Qilin," Budapest School’s way to post-Marxist”, Cultural Studies and Literary Theory, 2008, num.18
  • Blechman, Max." Revolutionary Romanticism: A Reply to Agnes Heller”, in Radical Philosophy, no. 992000, 40-43.
  • Tormey, Simon. Agnes Heller: Socialism, autonomy and the postmodern. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2001.
  • Koves, Margit." Ferenc Feher1933-1994, Reflections on a Member of the Lukacs School”, Social Scientist, Vol. 23, No. 4/6Apr Jun., 1995, pp. 98–107.
  • Vardys, V. Stanley." The Humanization of Socialism: Writings of the Budapest School”. The American Political Science Review, Vol,73, No.2Jun.1979.
  • Grumley, John." Negotiating the double bind’: Hellers theory of modernity", in European Journal of Social Theory, vol. 3, no. 42000.429-447.
  • Simon Tormey," Preface to the Book on Agnes Heller”, Comparative literature: east & west,2007, num.8.
  • Charles Andras," New Left in Hungary Attracts Attention of Western Marxists”, RAD Background Report/91,East-West, 23 April 1976.
  • Stalnaker, Nan." The Fake: Forgery and Its Place in Art by Sandor Radnoti”,The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 200 Jul.2000, 425-427.
  • Roucek,Joseph S." The Humanization of Socialism: Writings of the Budapest School”, Social Forces, Vol.56, No.3Mar.1978
  • Harrison, Paul R." The Grandeur and Twilight of Radical Universalism, by Agnes Heller and Ferenc Feher”, in Contemporary Sciology, vol. 21, Issue. 41992, 539-540.
  • Fu Qilin," On Budapest School’s critique of Gyorgy Lukacs ’ totality aesthetics", Research on Marxist aesthetics, 2008, num.11.
  • Fu Qilin ed, Agnes Heller," Reflection on the postmodern art”, Journal of Sichuan University, 2007, num.5
  • Hall, John A." Beyond Justice by Agnes Heller ”, in The American Journal of Sociology, vol. 95, no. 51990, 1352-1354.
  • Shusterman, Rechard." Saving Art from Aesthetics”, Poetics Today,Vol.8,No.3/4.1987.651-660.
  • Nordquist, J." Agnes Heller and the Budapest School: A Bibliography”.Social Theory, n.59, 2000.
  • Despoix, Phillippe." On the Possibility of a Philosophy of Values: A Dialogue Within the Budapest School”, in John Burnheim, ed. The Social Philosophy of Agnes Heller. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1994.
  • Brown, Doug." Karl Polanyi’s Influence on the Budapest School”, Journal of Economic Issues, Mar 1987, vol.21, no. 1.339-347.
  • Fu Qilin," On Agnes Heller’s Theory of Imaginary Institution in Modernity”,Journal of Huaiyin teachers’ college, 2008, num.4.
  • Fu Qilin," Agnes Heller’s thoughts on aesthetic modernity”, Review of China Books, 2007, num.3.
  • Fu Qilin," Agnes Heller’s analysis of aesthetic modernity in Renaissance”, Journal of Langfang teachers’ college, 2010, num.2
  • Rundell, John." The postmodern ethical condition: A conversation with Agnes Heller”, in Critical Horizons, vol.1, no.12000, 136-145.
  • Coop, Barry." A Philosophy of History in Fragments, Agnes Heller”, in
  • Fu Qilin," Reconstructing the concept of art and interpreting the postmodern arts: A summary of Agnes Heller’s lectures on the academic journey to China”, Modern Philosophy, 2008, num.4
  • Kammas,Anthony." Introducing Agnes Heller:The Radical Imagination of an unhappy consciousness”, in East European Politics and Societies, Vol.17, Num.42003, 712-718.
  • Grumley, John. Agnes Heller: A Moralist in the Vortex of History. London: Pluto Press, 2005.
  • Fu Qilin," On Budapest School’s Critique of Institution Theory of Art”, Journal of Center South University, 2005, num.3

  • Gyorgy Lukacs With Karl Mannheim, Arnold Hauser and Ervin Szabo he was also involved in the Budapest Free School of Humanities, founded by Lukacs A December
  • 1963 in Budapest His father Miklos Kocsar is a composer awarded the Kossuth Prize. He studied composition at Bela Bartok Vocational School of Music
  • Ministry of Religion and Education for less than two weeks. Then Laszlo Lukacs appointed him minister on 26 February 1913. Jankovich held this position
  • Ethnographic Museum Hungarian: Neprajzi Muzeum is a national museum in Budapest Hungary. It was founded as the Ethnographic Department of the Hungarian
  • physicists to the US. In his collaborations with people in Budapest notably Bela Lukacs and Jozsef Zimanyi he dealt with relativistic heavy - ion collisions
  • his allegiance to Lukacs and his attendance of Lukacs s seminars, Meszaros almost got expelled from the university. Later, Lukacs nominated Meszaros
  • Praxis: Marx, Lukacs and the Frankfurt School Verso Press, 2014 Westerman, R, The Reification of Consciousness: Husserl s Phenomenology in Lukacs s Subject - Object
  • After completing English and German literature studies in Budapest he worked as a school teacher. Beginning in early youth, he wrote articles for communist
  • Kerepesi Cemetery, Budapest the Ferenc Deak monument 1914 in Szeged, Jeno Zsigmondy, and Mor Jokai, and women such as Ilona Lukacs Bela Jarmay s wife
  • 1925 Feltamadas Makucskan 1925 Karacsony Kolozsvart 1931 Lukacs John. Budapest 1900. Grove Press, 1994. p.168 Arthur Koestler, Arrow in the Blue

Users also searched:

georg lukacs quotes, georg lukacs the ideology of modernism, lukacs cultural terrorism,