Are We Living in the Brave New World? A Philosophical and Literary Analysis of the Happy Consciousness in Contemporary Western Society.
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This thesis is an evaluation of Herbert Marcuse's intellectual framework from One-Dimensional Man- and in particular the concept of the 'Happy Consciousness' - in the light of 60 year of global developments. By using two works of (science)fiction as a 'philosophical laboratory' this thesis attempts to evaluate the relevance and usefulness of a Marcusean time diagnosis of contemporary westen society. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World serves as a possible extreme affirmation of the tendencies Marcuse observed in his own time, and Michel Houellebecq's Atomised serves as a more recent example of a possible denial of the same tendencies almost sixty years after Marcuse wrote his One-Dimensional Man. The analysis of these two works of (science)fiction gives an insight in how certain tendencies and socio-economic circumstances influence and shape different individuals from different backgrounds, and this way offers valuable insights that could not be reached through a purely philosophical approach.
Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen