Henri Lefebvre, Metaphilosophy – forthcoming in July from Verso

Although it has been a bit delayed, Lefebvre’s Metaphilosophy is now forthcoming from Verso in July 2016. First published in 1965, it was translated by David Fernbach. I edited the text and wrote an introduction.


In Metaphilosophy, Henri Lefebvre works through the implications of Marx’s revolutionary thought to consider philosophy’s engagement with the world. Lefebvre takes Marx’s notion of the “world becoming philosophical and philosophy becoming worldly” as a leitmotif, examining the relation between Hegelian–Marxist supersession and Nietzschean overcoming. Metaphilosophy is conceived of as a transformation of philosophy, developing it into a programme of radical worldwide change. The book demonstrates Lefebvre’s threefold debt to Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche, but it also brings a number of other figures into the conversation, including Sartre, Heidegger and Axelos. A key text in Lefebvre’s oeuvre, Metaphilosophy is also a milestone in contemporary thinking about philosophy’s relation to the world.

Metaphilosophy establishes Lefebvre’s place among the twentieth century’s very greatest Marxist thinkers. Arguing that the idea of philosophy can only be realized by going beyond philosophy itself, Lefebvre opens philosophy up to the concerns of everyday life and love, mass media and synthetics, consumerism and nuclear apocalypse, in a breathtakingly original vision of what truly radical thought might be. First written in French half a century ago, the remarkable challenges that it poses remain as significant as ever. There will not be a more important work of philosophy published this decade.”

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