Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Herbert Marcuse, the Frankfurt School and the West German Student Movement

This thesis examines the tension between Marcuse, the Frankfurt School and the West German student movement focusing primarily on Marcuse's controversial essay Repressive Tolerance and its repercussions. Marcuse's 1965 essay both personifies his radical politics and provides a link to his Heideggarian background, thus incorporating his radical political stance with his radical philosophy. What was Marcuse actually saying in this treatise? How did the students misunderstand it? Further, how does this essay represent the longstanding tension between Marcuse and his Frankfurt School colleagues? The first chapter will provide a critical analysis of Repressive Tolerance and the subsequent dialogues between both Marcuse and the students and Marcuse and Horkheimer and Adorno. The second chapter reaches to the roots of Marcuse's theory. Does Repressive Tolerance contain traces of Marcuse's Heideggarian heritage and if so how does this aid our understanding of Marcuse's philosophy and his relationship with these two competing groups?