Mervart, Jan

Karel Kosík as a Public Intellectual of the Reform Years


As a key figure of the Czech humanist Marxism of the 1960s, Karel Kosik belonged to the most influential personalities of his era. His Dialectics of the Concrete that was published at the beginning of the delayed Czechoslovak de-Stalinization (1963) was not only an interesting contribution to the Marxist thought, but it was also understood as a specific critique of rigid Marxism-Leninism and of the Stalinist, moreover post-Stalinist Czechoslovak regime.

This aspect of Kosik’s work played an important role in the reform ferment of the Czechoslovak 1960s. The paper is concerned with the “second life” of Dialectics of the Concrete within Czech and Slovak reform communist intelligentsia and wants to show Kosík as a public intellectual of the Czechoslovak reform movement.