On Agnes Heller’s ‘The Dissatisfied Society’

This is part 2 of my analysis of Anges Heller’s ‘The Dissatisfied Society’. Part 1 can be found here. Both blogs are written in their own right and one can be read without the other.


Radical Needs in the Dissatisfied Society:

Pursuing immanent subjectivity in a world of multiple logics

This blog seeks to determine whether Agnes Heller’s conception of the ‘dissatisfied society’ provides an adequate account of modernity. The analysis takes on four dimensions: the first consists in the evolution of Heller’s theory of needs; the second relates to how the mature, reflective post-modern configuration of this theory is embodied in Heller’s conception of the ‘dissatisfied society’; the third dimension traces the dissatisfied society to those forces underpinning it, namely the logics of modernity; and finally, the fourth concerns the synthesis of these logics found in the ‘double bind’ of historical and technological imagination, and whether this adequately accounts for Heller’s alternative to ‘radical needs’. The blog concludes that Heller’s account of modernity is inadequate to the extent she does not proffer a viable alternative to the theory of radical needs.

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