Truth and Reality in Marx and Hegel: A Reassessment

By Czeslaw Prokopczyk | Go to book overview

Concluding Remarks

When the results of our study are viewed with regard to all the major developments in Marxism from its origins to its most recent issues and positions, some questions may emerge. The first one could be formulated this way: why is it that, in spite of the original presence of this practical understanding of truth, rooted in Hegel and so different from the classical concept of truth, it is exactly the classical definition of truth that has been most dominant in all subsequent history of Marxism?

The answer to this question is quite simple. A superficial similarity of the formulations (that is, the conformity between objects and thoughts about them), emerging at a certain stage of elaboration of those two different conceptions of truth, was misunderstood as their complete identity, and as a result it became customary in Marxism to notice, instead of two different conceptions that philosophically exclude each other, only one conception, that one which was much easier to recognize, name and accept, due to its long and respectable tradition and an appeal to common sense. The accepted conception was in essence the classical conception of truth, with the added element of human practice working in this conception as a criterion of truth. The acceptance of the conception into Marxism was not, however, carried out through any refutation of the other conception, and so the latter was frequently though vaguely resorted to by Marxists as well, especially when they were referring to Marx's eleventh thesis on Feuerbach, stating that the aim of the new concern was not to interpret the world, but to change it.

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