Truth and Reality in Marx and Hegel: A Reassessment

By Czeslaw Prokopczyk | Go to book overview

3
Toward an Interpretation of the Marxian Conception of Truth

In reading the foreword to Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy one's attention should be arrested by something which may seem insignificant and which has in fact been completely overlooked in the literature dealing with the book, but which -- when subjected to some historical and conceptual analysis -- leads one to certain important conclusions regarding Engels' basic philosophical commitments as well as the understanding of truth which he practically followed. What arrests one's attention is the uneasiness with which Engels begins the book edition of his study on Feuerbach.

It is not reassuring enough for Engels that the editors of the German Social Democratic Party theoretical journal Die Neue Zeit invited him to submit a lengthy review of Starcke book Ludwig Feuerbach; it is not enough that the review, first published in 1886 in two huge installments, created enough interest to justify a book edition of the review two years later.1 Engels was looking for some additional justification for the publication of the study in book form. Of the two reasons Engels adduces, one is of a moral nature. In Engels' words it was Feuerbach who more than any other post-Hegelian philosopher influenced Marx and Engels in their formative period ( Stunn-und Drangspehode) and, therefore, a full acknowledgment of this influence appeared to Engels to be "an undischarged debt of honor." The second reason given by Engels is of a different nature. Since the Marxist world outlook was becoming more and more wide-spread in the world, and in view of the rebirth

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