Notes: Wayne Hudson, “Bloch and a Philosophy of the Proterior” in Peter Thompson and Slavoj Žižek The Privatization of Hope: Ernst Bloch and the Future of Utopia

Hudson, Wayne. (2013). Bloch and a philosophy of the proterior. in Peter Thompson and Slavoj Žižek (eds.) The privatization of hope: Ernst Bloch and the future of utopia. Durham: Duke University Press, 21-36.


Hudson outlines the several of Bloch’s insights within his utopian work.

Keywords: philosophy, theory, utopianism


“Against such domestication, it is necessary to insist on the unavailability of Bloch’s work, and the fact that there is a continuing delay in the course of its reception as only some aspects of Bloch’s work are really taken up. An abnormal time structure is fundamental to Bloch: a time structure linking anticipatory insights to later developments and this time structure applies to his own work” (p. 23).

“Taking up Bloch’s legacy here requires a willingness to admit both a constructive function for philosophy at the level of method and the irreducible role of normative postulates in philosophical rationalism” (p. 25).

“In Bloch’s process philosophy, the exact nature of the process, including its ‘where to,’ is not known and must be experimented for in natural and social history. Here Bloch’s contribution is to insist that philosophical speculations can be metaphysically constitutive of how reality becomes, and that objective imagination [objektive Phantasie] can and should play a crucial role” (p. 29).

“Bloch challenges us to envisage a wider conception of rationality, able to take account of various sorts of cultural symbolism, and also the complexly distributed, impure materials of the real world” (p. 30).

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