Review by Curtis Cole
Terry Eagleton is best known as a literary and cultural critic; his sharp pen and sharper wit combined with his erudite Marxist theory to take the Anglo-British academic world by storm. With dozens of books under his belt, employment at a prestigious university, and decades’ worth of intellectual engagement, Eagleton has, in recent years, expanded his purview outside of literature and into philosophy.
His recent book Materialism is just such an entry. Concerned with several philosophical titans— Nietzsche, Marx, and Wittgenstein. Eagleton tracks each thinker’s relationship to somatic materialism, or what might be better called epistemological materialism. Eagleton, then, is concerned with how the body—human, animal, otherwise—becomes a focal point for the sociopolitical and all that entails (class, conflict, history, etc.). Tracing each philosopher’s body of thought’s conception from its moment of origination to the present day, Eagleton offers a materialist take on the similarities and…
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