BLOCH, ERNST


BLOCH, ERNST
BLOCH, ERNST (1885–1977), German philosopher. Bloch was born in Ludwigshafen, studied philosophy, musicology, and physics at the universities of Munich and Wuerzburg, and became doctor of philosophy under the direction of O. Kuelpe with a dissertation on "Rickert und das Problem der modernen Erkenntnis." From 1908 to 1912, he studied in Georg Simmel's seminary of philosophy and sociology in Berlin; from 1912 to 1914, he lived in Heidelberg, where he was a permanent guest in Max Weber's seminary. Living in Munich and Garmisch from 1914 to 1917, he was close to the expressionist painters. As a pacifist and opponent of the regime of German Emperor William II, he lived in exile in Switzerland from 1917 to 1919. In his essay "Symbol – die Juden" (1911/12), which begins with the assertion, "The pride in being Jewish is now again awakened," Bloch analyzes the principal characteristics of Jewish identity in the era of modernity. His first book, Geist der Utopie (1918, 1923; Spirit of Utopia, 2000), which includes "Philosophy of Music, " is a metaphysical inquiry into the question of self-recognition and self-identity, marked by the influence of romanticism, mysticism, socialist utopianism, and both Christian and Jewish religiosity. Thomas Muenzer als Theologe der Revolution (1921) is marked by a revolutionary romanticism and simultaneously by the effort to bring to the fore the forgotten and repressed history of a radical messianic tendency in German Protestantism (linked to the Peasant's Revolt in the 16th century) opposed to Martin Luther. Three years after the publication of Spuren ("Tracks," 1930) – a book which has often been compared to the Einbahnstrasse by walter benjamin , he was forced to leave Germany and live as a refugee in Switzerland, Austria, France, and Czechoslovakia. Erbschaft dieser Zeit, published in Zurich in 1935, explains the rise of Nazism by the phenomenon of "uncontemporaneousness (Ungleichzeitigkeit) in the consciousness of the German middle class. Leaving Prague in 1938, six months before the invasion of the Czech Republic by Nazi Germany, he emigrated via Poland to the United States, where he wrote his major work, Das Prinzip Hoffnung (The Principle of Hope), whose original title had been Träume vom besseren Leben ("Dreams of Better Life") – a great compendium of all the forms of wishful and utopian thinking in culture, religion, architecture, music, etc., based on the theory of the "antizipierendes Bewusstsein" ("consciousness in anticipation"). It also outlines a "philosophy of praxis" as "humanity in action, linking messianic hope and the Marxist project of the transformation of world. By the mediation of the category of "possibility," wishes are to be transformed into real human praxis. The second volume, Freiheit und Ordnung Abriss der Sozialutopien, is not only a synopsis of all manifestations of utopian thought in the history of philosophy, literature, architecture, music, etc., but also contains a chapter on Zionism ("Altneuland, Programm des Zionismus"), where Bloch's main concern is to criticize Theodor Herzl's "bourgeois Zionism" and to assert that Judaism should not become a territorial nationalism but acknowledge and preserve the best that was in Moses Hess' Utopia and transform it into a messianic international socialism. During his exile in the United States, Bloch also wrote Subjekt-Objekt. Erlaeuterungen zu Hegel (1951, enlarged ed.1962). In 1949, he returned to Europe, accepting a professorship in philosophy in Leipzig and the direction of the Institute of Philosophy. In December 1956, after the bloody repression of the Hungarian uprising by the Russians, he was publicly denounced by the Neues Deutschland (the official journal of the East German Communist Party S.E.D.) as a "revisionist," an "idealist," and a "mystical" philosopher, distracted by historical and dialectical materialism. After a political campaign against him, he finally was obliged to accept compulsory retirement in 1957. In August 1961, during a visit to the German Federal Republic, frightened by the news of the construction of the Berlin wall, he resolved not to return to Leipzig but to stay in Tuebingen, where he taught until his death. During the Six-Day War in June 1967 he was the most vocal speaker in an assembly organized at Frankfurt University to proclaim Israel's right to exist ("Frieden im Nahen Osten," 1967). During the 15 years of his last period, Bloch dedicated himself entirely to the publication of his complete writings (Gesamtausgabe) in 16 volumes, published by Suhrkamp. These included Naturrrecht und menschliche Wuerde (1961; Natural Law and Human Dignity), Philosophische Aufsaetze zur objektiven Phantasie (1969), Atheismus im Christentum (1968), Politische Messungen, Pestzeit, Vormaerz (1970), and Experimentum Mundi (1975). Tendenz-Latenz-Utopie, including the Gedenkbuch fuer Else Bloch-von-Stritzky (Memorial Book for Else Bloch-von-Stritzky, Bloch's first wife), followed in 1978. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Marcun, Ernst Bloch in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten, rowohlt (1977); B. Schmidt (ed.), Materialien zu Ernst Blochs "Das Prinzip Hoffnung" (1978); R. Traub and H. Wieser (eds.), Gespraeche mit Ernst Bloch (1975); Utopie-marxisme selon Ernst Bloch. Hommages publiés par Gérard Raulet (1976); A. Muenster (ed.), Tagtraeume vom aufrechten Gang.Sechs Interviews mit Ernst   Bloch (1977); idem, Utopie, Messianismus und Apokalypse im Fruehwerk von Ernst Bloch (1982); B. Schmidt, Seminar: Zur Philosophie Ernst Blochs (1983); V. Caysa et al., Hoffnung kann enttaeuscht werden. Ernst Bloch in Leipzig (1992); M. Riedel, Ernst Bloch und die Tradition (1993). BIOGRAPHIES: P. Zudeick, Der Hintern des Teufels. Ernst Blochs Leben und Werk (1985); A Muenster, L'utopie concrète d'Ernst Bloch. Une biographie (2001; (Ger. tr. Ernst Bloch. Eine politische Biographie (2004). CORRESPONDENCE: K. Bloch et al. (ed.) Ernst Bloch. Briefe (19031975), 2 vols. (1985). (Arno Muenster (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BLOCH (ERNST) — BLOCH ERNST (1885 1977) En rupture avec les formes sclérosées du marxisme, l’œuvre d’Ernst Bloch tente de jeter un pont entre la théorie de l’émancipation prolétarienne et l’imaginaire qui soutient sa pratique. Le sentiment de révolte allié au… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Bloch, Ernst — (1885–1977)    Bloch was a German Marxist academic whose chief contribution to Marxism lies in his work in the field of philosophy. He utilized ancient Greek thought in his unorthodox and original portrayal of Marxism as an “act of hope” and, in… …   Historical dictionary of Marxism

  • Bloch, Ernst — ▪ German political scientist born July 8, 1885, Ludwigshafen, Ger. died Aug. 4, 1977, Stuttgart       German Marxist philosopher whose Philosophie der Hoffnung (“Philosophy of Hope”) was intended to complete what he considered Marxism s partial… …   Universalium

  • Bloch, Ernst — (1885 1977)    social philosopher; evolved a Marxism sus tained more by Kant than by Marx. Born in Ludwigshafen, he studied during 1911 1916 at Heidelberg, forming a friendship with fellow student Georg Lukacs*; Lukacs labeled him a born… …   Historical dictionary of Weimar Republik

  • Bloch, Ernst — (1885 1977)    German Marxist humanist philosopher. Born in the Rhineland city of Ludwigshafen, he began a teaching career at the University of Leipzig in 1918. In 1933 he fled to Switzerland and later emigrated to the US where he completed Das… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Bloch, Ernst — See Marxism ( …   History of philosophy

  • Bloch, Ernst — ► (1885 1977) Filósofo alemán. Desarrolló una filosofía propia sobre la esperanza y la utopía. Al término de la Segunda Guerra Mundial volvió a Leipzig, en la Alemania oriental, pero, acusado de revisionista se trasladó a la Alemania occidental… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BLOCH, Ernst — (1880 1959)    German MARXIST philosopher whose work strongly influenced Jürgen MÖLTMANN and Harvey Cox. His major works are The Spirit of Utopia (1918) and Thomas Munzer as Theologian of Revolution (1921) …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Ernst Bloch — (1954) Ernst Bloch (Ernst Simon Bloch, * 8. Juli 1885 in Ludwigshafen am Rhein; † 4. August 1977 in Tübingen) war ein deutscher marxistischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ernst Bloch — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Placa conmemorativa en Berlín Ernst Bloch (8 de julio de 1885 en Ludwigshafen am Rhein 4 de agosto de 1977 en …   Wikipedia Español


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