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New Left Review I/227, January-February 1998

Pierre Bourdieu

A Reasoned Utopia and Economic Fatalism

To the town of Ludwigshafen, its mayor, Mr Wolfgang Schulte, and the Ernst Bloch Institute, my warmest thanks for the honour I have been awarded, which associates my own name with that of one of the German philosophers whom I most admire. [1] This is the text of Pierre Bourdieu’s speech of acceptance of the Ernst-Bloch Preis der Stadt Ludwigshafen, 22 November 1997. My thanks also to Mr Ulrich Beck for the very generous address he has just given. He leads me to think that we may, in the near future, see the utopia of a European intellectual collective, which I have long advocated, brought into being. My only criticism of this eulogy is that it is really too generous, especially in the way it attributed to my individual personality alone a number of properties or qualities which are also the product of social conditions.

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