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Encyclopedia > Praxis School

Praxis school was a Marxist humanist philosophical movement that originated in Zagreb and Belgrade in the SFRY, during the 1960s. Prominent figures among the school's founders include Gajo Petrović and Milan Kangrga of Zagreb and Mihailo Marković of Belgrade. From 1964 to 1974 they published the Marxist journal Praxis, which was renowned as one of the leading international journals in Marxist theory. Furthermore, the group organized the widely popular Korčula Summer School in the island of Korčula. The term Marxist humanism has as its foundation Marxs conception of the alienation of the labourer as he advances it in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844--an alienation that is born of a capitalist system in which the worker no longer functions as (what Marx terms) a... Zagreb (pronounced: ) is the capital and largest city of Croatia. ... Belgrade (Serbian: Београд or Beograd  ) is the capital and largest city of Serbia. ... The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a Balkan state that existed from 1945 to 1992. ... Gajo Petrović (1927-1993) was one of the main theorists in the Praxis school of Marxist interpretation. ... Milan Kangrga (born: Zagreb, 1923) is a Croatian philosopher. ... Mihailo Marković Mihailo Marković (born 24 February 1927, Belgrade) is a Serbian philosopher. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Coat of arms Korčula (Italian Curzola, Latin Corcyra Nigra, Greek Korkyra Melaina, Old-Slavic: Krkar) is an island in the Adriatic Sea, in the Dubrovnik-Neretva county of Croatia. ...

Contents

Basic tenets

Due to the tumultuous sociopolitical conditions in the 1960s, the affirmation of 'authentic' Marxist theory and praxis, and its humanist and dialectical aspects in particular, was an urgent task for philosophers working across the SFRY. There was a need to respond to the kind of modified Marxism-Leninism enforced by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (see Titoism). To vocalize and therefore begin to satisfy this need, the program of Praxis school was defined in French in the first issue of the International edition of Praxis: A quoi bon Praxis. Pedrag Vranicki (On the problem of Practice) and Danko Grlić (Practice and Dogma) expanded this program in English in the same issue (Praxis, 1965, 1, p. 41-48 and p. 49-58). The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a Balkan state that existed from 1945 to 1992. ... SKJ flag in Serbo-Croat, with Latin script SKJ flag in Albanian SKJ flag in Hungarian SKJ flag in Italian SKJ flag in Macedonian SKJ flag in Slovenian League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Savez komunista Jugoslavije), before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (Komunistička partija Jugoslavije), was a major... Titoism is a term describing political ideology named after Yugoslav leader, Josip Broz Tito, primarily used to describe the schism between the Soviet Union and Socialist Yugoslavia after the Second World War (see Cominform) when the Communist Party of Yugoslavia refused to take further dictates from Moscow. ...


The Praxis philosophers considered Leninism and Stalinism to be apologetic due to their ad hoc nature. Leninist and Stalinist theory was considered to be unfaithful to the Marxist theory, adjusted according to the needs of the party elite and intolerant of ideological criticism. Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism refers to various related political and economic theories elaborated by Bolshevik revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin, and by other theorists who claim to be carrying on Lenins work. ... Joseph Stalin. ...


The defining features of the school were: 1) emphasis on the writings of the young Marx; and 2) call for freedom of speech in both East and West based upon Marx's insistence on ruthless social critique. As Erich Fromm has argued in his preface to Marković's work From Affluence to Praxis, the theory of the Praxis theoreticians was to "return to the real Marx as against the Marx equally distorted by right wing social democrats and Stalinists". ‘Young Marx’ is one half of the concept in Marxology that Karl Marx’s intellectual development can be broken into two board categories, the other being ‘Mature Marx’. There is disagreement though as to when Marx thought began to mature, Lenin claimed Marxs first mature work as “The Poverty... Erich Fromm Erich Pinchas Fromm (March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was an internationally renowned Jewish-German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and humanistic philosopher. ...


Different theorists emphasized different aspects of the theory. Where Mihailo Marković writes of alienation and the dynamic nature of human beings, Petrović writes of philosophy as radical critique of all existing things, emphasizing the essentially creative and practical nature of human beings. Milan Kangrga emphasizes creativity as well, but also the understanding of human beings as producers humanizing nature.


Another defining feature of the Praxis theory is the incorporation of existential philosophy into the Praxis brand of Marxist social critique, spearheaded by Rudi Supek. Existentialism is a philosophical movement in which individual human beings are understood as having full responsibility for creating the meanings of their own lives. ... Rudi Supek (Zagreb, 8 April 1913 - Zagreb, 2 January 1993) was a Croat Marxist sociologist, member of the Praxis school. ...


Organizing Korčula Summer School and publishing the international edition of Praxis were ways to promote open inquiry in accordance with these postulates. Erich Fromm's collection of articles from 1965 entitled Socialist Humanism: An International Symposium has been of much help in promoting the Praxis school. As many as six members of the Praxis school have published articles in this collection: Marković, Petrović, Danilo Pejović, Veljko Korać, Rudi Supek and Predrag Vranicki. 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... Danilo Pejović (born 6 March 1928, Ludbreg, Croatia) is a Croat philosopher. ... Rudi Supek (Zagreb, 8 April 1913 - Zagreb, 2 January 1993) was a Croat Marxist sociologist, member of the Praxis school. ... Predrag Vranicki (21 January 1922- 31 January 2002) was Marxist Humanist, member of the Praxis school in the 1960s in Yugoslavia. ...


The Praxis journal

The Praxis journal was published by a group of praxis theoreticians, mainly from Zagreb University. It was published in two editions: Yugoslav and foreign. The first issue of the Yugoslav edition was published on 1 September 1964 and was published until 1974. As for the foreign edition, it was published between 1965 and 1973. Its founders were Branko Bosnjak, Danko Grlić, Milan Kangrga, Rudi Supek, Gajo Petrović, Predrag Vranicki, Danilo Pejović and Ivan Kuvačić. The first editors of the journal were Petrović and Pejović, but in 1966 Pejović resigned from Praxis. After that, Supek was the co-editor of the journal together with Petrović Supek from 1967 to 1973. Kuvačić replaced Supek as the co-editor in 1973. September 1 is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Branko BoÅ¡njak (1923 - Zagreb, 1996) was Croat philosopher, member of the Praxis school in the former Yugoslavia. ... Danko Grlić Danko Grlić (18 September 1923 - 1 March 1984) was Marxist humanist, member of the Praxis school of the former Yugoslavia. ... Milan Kangrga (born: Zagreb, 1923) is a Croatian philosopher. ... Rudi Supek (Zagreb, 8 April 1913 - Zagreb, 2 January 1993) was a Croat Marxist sociologist, member of the Praxis school. ... Gajo Petrović (1927-1993) was one of the main theorists in the Praxis school of Marxist interpretation. ... Predrag Vranicki (21 January 1922- 31 January 2002) was Marxist Humanist, member of the Praxis school in the 1960s in Yugoslavia. ... Danilo Pejović (born 6 March 1928, Ludbreg, Croatia) is a Croat philosopher. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ...


Praxis has helped to restore the creative potential of Marxism. It drew inspiration from the works of Antonio Gramsci, Karl Korsch, Georg Lukacs, Ernst Bloch, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm and Lucien Goldmann. The texts in the magazine featured articles by writers from both the East and the West. Praxis editors had a strong tendency to publish articles that went against the Leninist theory and praxis promoted and enforced by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. Antonio Gramsci (IPA: ) (January 22, 1891 – April 27, 1937) was an Italian writer, politician and political theorist. ... Karl Korsch (August 15, 1886 - October 21, 1961) was a German Marxist theorist. ... Georg Lukács (April 13, 1885 - June 4, 1971) was a Hegelian and Marxist philosopher and literary critic. ... Ernst Simon Bloch (July 8, 1885 - August 4, 1977) was a German Marxist philosopher and atheist theologian. ... Herbert Marcuse (July 19, 1898 – July 29, 1979) was a prominent German and later American philosopher and sociologist of Jewish descent, and a member of the Frankfurt School. ... Erich Fromm Erich Pinchas Fromm (March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was an internationally renowned Jewish-German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and humanistic philosopher. ... Lucien Goldmann (born 1913 in Botosani, Romania, died 1970 in Paris) was a French philosopher and sociologist of Jewish-Romanian origin. ... Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism; it is a branch of Marxism (and it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ... SKJ flag in Serbo-Croat, with Latin script SKJ flag in Albanian SKJ flag in Hungarian SKJ flag in Italian SKJ flag in Macedonian SKJ flag in Slovenian League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Savez komunista Jugoslavije), before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (Komunistička partija Jugoslavije), was a major...


Korčula Summer School

Korčula Summer School was preceded by a symposium organized by Gajo Petrovic and Milan Kangrga in the summer of 1963 in Dubrovnik. The summer school was organized by the publishers of the journal Praxis from 1964 to 1974 in the Croatian island of Korčula, with the exception of 1966, when the gathering was cancelled due to the intense attacks by the League of Communists of Croatia. County Dubrovnik–Neretva Area 143. ... Coat of arms Korčula (Italian Curzola, Latin Corcyra Nigra, Greek Korkyra Melaina, Old-Slavic: Krkar) is an island in the Adriatic Sea, in the Dubrovnik-Neretva county of Croatia. ...


The school was a meeting place for philosophers and social critics from the entire world. Some of the prominent attendees included Ernst Bloch, Eugen Fink, Erich Fromm, Jürgen Habermas, Richard Bernstein and Shlomo Avineri, to name a few. Another peculiarity is that one of the attendants was from the Vatican, Father Gustav Wetter, which testifies to the fact that Korčula Summer School was not merely a Marxist symposium - the attendees held interests ranging from phenomenology to theology. Ernst Simon Bloch (July 8, 1885 - August 4, 1977) was a German Marxist philosopher and atheist theologian. ... Jürgen Habermas Jürgen Habermas (born June 18, 1929 in Düsseldorf) is a German philosopher, political scientist and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory, best known for his concept of the public sphere. ... Shlomo Avineri is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. ...


The articles produced during the meeting were published in the journal during the following year. Each summer, the gathering focused on a particular topic:

  • 1963: Progress and Culture (held in Dubrovnik)
  • 1964: Meaning and Perspectives of Socialism
  • 1965: What is History?
  • 1966: The summer school was canceled due to the intense attacks by the League of Communists of Croatia
  • 1967: Creativity and Creation
  • 1968: Marx and Revolution
  • 1969: Power and Humanity
  • 1970: Hegel and Our Time (celebrating the anniversary of 200 years since Hegel's birth)
  • 1971: Utopia and Reality
  • 1972: Freedom and Equality
  • 1973: The Essence and Limits of Civil Society
  • 1974: Art in a Technologized World

County Dubrovnik–Neretva Area 143. ...

The aftermath

Due to its critical nature - the editors and authors were referred to as "professional Anti-Communists" and "enemies of self-managing socialism" - the journal was banned on several occasions. By 1975 it became impossible to publish the journal under the increasingly repressive conditions in SFRY. In the same year, eight university professors, members of the Praxis school (Mihailo Marković, Ljubomir Tadić, Zagorka Golubović, Svetozar Stojanović, Miladin Životić, Dragoljub Mićunović, Nebojša Popov and Trivo Inđić) were expelled from the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade on the basis of a decision of the Serbian Assembly. 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... Ljubomir Tadić (b. ... Dragoljub Mićunović is one of the founding members of the Democratic Party in Serbia. ...


As of April, 1981, the Praxis International journal was edited and published in Oxford in the spirit of the original Praxis journal. This move was supported by four members of the editorial board of the Praxis: Supek, Marković, Tadić and Stojanović. The majority of the Praxis theorists, however, led by Kangrga, disagreed on the basis of the fact that an international journal with the same or similar name as the original journal would reduce the possibilities of republishing the journal inside Yugoslavia. Editors of Praxis International were Seyla Benhabib and Svetozar Stojanović. 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England, with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). ... Seyla Benhabib (born 1950, Istanbul) is a professor of political science and Philosophy at Yale and director of the program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, and a contemporary philosopher. ...


Praxis International was published until January 1994 when it continued to be published under the name Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory. Editors of Constellations are Andrew Arato and Nancy Fraser. 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... Nancy Fraser is currently the Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science at the Graduate Faculty of New School University in New York City. ...


Influence

The influence of the Praxis school is mainly through its intellectual legacy as a heterodox interpretation of Marxism. This interpretation has been popular among Western Marxists and academics, notably Marshall Berman, who references the Praxis group in his major works. Many praxis theoreticians taught at various universities in Europe and US. The praxis approach was appealing to the Western academia due to its emphasis on dialectical, humanist Marx. Western Marxism is a term used to describe a wide variety of Marxist theoreticians based in Western and Central Europe (and more recently North America), in contrast with philosophy in the Soviet Union. ... Marshall Berman Is a Marxist Humanist writer and philosopher. ...


References

  • Mihailo Markovic and Robert S. Cohen Yugoslavia: The Rise and Fall of Socialist Humanism. A History of the Praxis Group, Nottingham, Spokesman Books, 1975.
  • Oskar Gruenwald The Yugoslav search for man: Marxist humanism in contemporary Yugoslavia. J.F. Bergin Publishers, South Hadley, MA. 1983.
  • Nebojša Popov (ed.) Freedom and Violence: a conversation about the Praxis journal and Korčula Summer school ("Sloboda i nasilje: Razgovor o časopisu Praxis i Korčulanskoj letnjoj školi"), "Res publica", Beograd, 2003 (in Serbian)
  • Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 2nd Edition. Gen. Ed. Robert Audi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

External links

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