Are We Living in the Brave New World? A Philosophical and Literary Analysis of the Happy Consciousness in Contemporary Western Society.

No Thumbnail Available
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
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