Access to the full content is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.



Bloch, Ernst Simon (1885–1977)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-S069-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 21, 2019, from

Article Summary

Bloch was one of the most innovative Marxist philosophers of the twentieth century. His metaphysical and ontological concerns, combined with a self-conscious utopianism, distanced him from much mainstream Marxist thought. He was sympathetic to the classical philosophical search for fundamental categories, but distinguished earlier static, fixed and closed systems from his own open system, in which he characterized the universe as a changing and unfinished process. Furthermore, his distinctive materialism entailed the rejection of a radical separation of the human and the natural, unlike much twentieth-century Western Marxism. His validation of utopianism was grounded in a distinctive epistemology centred on the processes whereby ‘new’ material emerges in consciousness. The resulting social theory was sensitive to the many and varied ways in which the utopian impulse emerges, as, for example, in its analysis of the utopian dimension in religion.

Citing this article:
Geoghegan, Vincent. Bloch, Ernst Simon (1885–1977), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-S069-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2019 Routledge.

Related Searches