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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 25 - 2018, No. 3

Towards a Critical Theory of Communication with Georg Lukács and Lucien Goldmann

, pages: 265-281

This work contributes to the foundations of a post-Habermasian critical theory of communication. It uncovers and makes visible undiscovered, forgotten, repressed and hidden elements of Marxian theories that can contribute to grounding foundations of a critical theory of communication. What elements for a critical theory of communication can we find in Lukács’ major aesthetic work Die Eigenart des Ästhetischen (The Specificity of the Aesthetic) and Lucien Goldmann’s works? Lukács and Goldmann are two representatives of Hegelian humanist Marxism. Their stress on the importance of the human being and social production in society makes their theories particularly interesting for an analysis of the role of communication in society and capitalism. Lukács and Goldmann provide perspectives on foundational questions of a critical theory of communication. These include the dialectical relationship of subject and object, communication as production, the dialectic of communicative production and the production of communication, communication as dialectic of thought and language and dialectic of nature and society mediated by three sign systems, ideology as the reduction of humans and society to the first sign system, ideology as contradiction of actual and potential consciousness, capitalist media as creators of reified consciousness, and the struggle for alternative communications.

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