Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy

Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy

Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy

Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy

Excerpt

In the Preface to the Critique of Political Economy, published in Berlin, 1859,Karl Marx relates how the two of us in Brussels in the year 1845 set about working out in common "the opposition of our view"-- the materialist conception of history which was worked out especially by Marx--"to the ideological view of German philosophy, in fact to settle accounts with our previous philosophical conscience. The resolve was carried out in the form of a criticism of post-Hegelian philosophy. The manuscript, two large octavo volumes, had long reached its place of publication in Westphalia when we received the news that altered circumstances did not allow of its being printed. We abandoned the manuscript to the gnawing criticism of the mice all the more willingly since we had achieved our main purpose--to clear our own minds."

Since then more than forty years have elapsed and Marx died without either of us having had an opportunity of returning to the subject. We have expressed ourselves in various places regarding our relation to Hegel, but nowhere in a comprehensive, connected account. To Feuerbach, who in many respects forms an intermediate link between Hegelian philosophy and our conception, we never returned.

In the meantime the Marxist world outlook has found representatives far beyond the boundaries of Germany and Europe and in all the languages of the civilized world. On the other hand, classical German philosophy is experiencing a kind of rebirth abroad, especially in England and Scandinavia, and even in Germany itself people appear to be getting tired of the pauper's broth of eclecticism which is ladled out in the universities there under the name of philosophy.

In these circumstances a short, connected account of our relation to . . .

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