The Philosophical Foundations of Marxism

The Philosophical Foundations of Marxism

The Philosophical Foundations of Marxism

The Philosophical Foundations of Marxism

Excerpt

Marx's impact upon the modern world is not a recent phenomenon; it began during his own lifetime. But until forty years ago his reputation was due mainly to his organization of the international workers' movement and to his social-economic studies. The rediscovery of Marx's "philosophy" followed the publication of his early philosophical writings by the Marx- Engels Institute in Moscow. Since then, the interest of Western scholars has gradually shifted from Marx the social reformer to Marx the humanistic philosopher. While forty years ago The Communist Manifesto and Capital held all the attention, today The German Ideology and the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 are in the spotlight.

Where does Marx's philosophy end and his positive, social- economic science begin? The reader will find out for himself why it is impossible to separate the two entirely. Nevertheless, a distinction undoubtedly exists. I have solved the problem in a practical way by limiting my discussion to Marx's early works-- up to and including The Communist Manifesto (1848). The later works have been excluded because they are not primarily philosophical. By the same token, the early works are discussed only to the extent that they are relevant to philosophical theory. With The German Ideology (1845), Marx's philosophy turns into a theory of action based upon scientific-sociological, economic, and historical-data. In The Poverty of Philosophy (1847) and The Communist Manifesto the new theory is first applied. For this reason I have included these two works . . .

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