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Kosik writes that the history of a text is in a certain sense the history of its interpretations. In the fifteen years that have passed since the fust (Czech) edition of his Dialectics of the Concrete, this book has been widely read and interpreted throughout Europe, in diverse centers of scholarship as well as in private studies. A faithful English language edition is long overdue. This publication of KosIk's work will surely provoke a range of new interpretations. For its theme is the characterization of science and of rationality in the context of the social roots of science and the social critique which an appropriately rational science should afford. Kosik's question is: How shall Karl Marx's understanding of science itself be understood? And how can it be further developed? In his treatment of the question of scientific rationality, Kosik drives bluntly into the issues of gravest human concern, not the least of which is how to avoid the pseudo-concrete, the pseudo-scientific, the pseudo-rational, the pseudoÂ historical. Starting with Marx's methodological approach, of "ascending from the abstract to the concrete", Kosik develops a critique of positivism, of phenomenalist empiricism, and of "metaphysical" rationalism, counterÂ posing them to "dialectical rationalism". He takes the category of the concrete in the dialectical sense of that which comes to be known by the active transformation of nature and society by human purposive activity.
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