Vancouver Institute for Social Research: Andrew Feenberg

October 27, 2014

The Vancouver Institute for Social Research (VISR) is an independent, para-academic, graduate-level, theory-based free school that began in Feb. 2013. Our intent is to move beyond the borders of the traditional university and to open up a more accessible platform in the city for the engaged discussion of critical theory.


The Institute’s third session, which will be organized around the theme of “Aesthetics and Politics,” will be held from Sept – Dec, 2014. Once a week on Monday evenings from 7-9 pm at the Or Gallery (555 Hamilton Street), we will be inviting professors to present on topics of their choice over this period.


Though we have an operational budget of $0, the seminars will be free to the public. All professors will be offering their services on a voluntary basis.


Organized by the East Vancouver Young Hegelians
Chapter 13 (Negating the Negation Faction)


Andrew Feenberg — Lukács’s Theory of Reification and Contemporary Social Movements


Lukács’s theory of reification, explained in his 1923 work History and Class Consciousness, is often interpreted as a theory of ideology, however it is also a theory of social practice and a social ontology. Reification and dereification describe different types of social practice, individual technical practices aimed at adaptation, survival, and success, and collective transforming practices with the potential for establishing a solidary socialist society. Although many aspects of Lukács’s early work are no longer applicable , this distinction is relevant to struggles around technology today, such as environmental struggles or struggles over medical practices.

Participant Bios

Andrew Feenberg is Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology in the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, where he directs the Applied Communication and Technology Lab.