György Márkus, 1934 – 2016

October 6, 2016

György Márkus, a former visiting professor at our department, died on October 5. Márkus was a leading philosopher in Hungary over the twenty years between 1957, when he started his career at the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Science and 1977, when he chose, under duress, the emigration. In 1973 he was expelled from his position at the Academy and put under an employment ban for co-authoring, with György Bence and János Kis, a critical study of Marx’s theory of socialism. After his emigration, he was invited to the University of Sydney where he became a professor at the Department of Philosophy.

Márkus worked both in continental and in analytic philosophy. He is the author of an influential book, Marxism and Anthropology (1966, revised edition 2014), on the young Marx’s conception of the human person and on the way individuals are alienated both from each other and their own activities under capitalism. He is also the first Hungarian translator of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, for which he has written an extensive commentary. He has also published, among others, an article on the problem of perception in analytic style. His latest book Culture, Science, Society appeared in 2011.

Márkus taught at our department in 2001/2 (“Spinoza: from Metaphysics to Ethics” and “Hegel's Phenomenology”) and in 2002/3 (“Kant - Practical Philosophy”). Some of our students who later continued to be teachers in various universities around Europe were among his students, including Jakub Jirsa, Judit Szalai, András Szigeti and Attila Tanyi.