Marx's Attempt to Leave Philosophy

By Daniel Brudney | Go to book overview

6 The 1844 Marx III: The Problem of Justification

IN CHAPTER 4 I argued that, for Marx, what I called the human self-realization activity is the activity involved in necessary labor. In Chapter 5 I discussed the communal relationships resulting from (what Marx thinks of as) proper exercise of that activity. We can now see that, for Marx, the correct description of the human self-realization activity has an important social component. That activity involves more than the physical actions of plowing fields, felling trees, and so on. It must be engaged in with certain ends and beliefs, and when it truly functions as the human self-realization activity, it is carried on in a social context in which those engaged in it correctly believe that the products of their activity will be consumed by agents who have certain beliefs about their (the producers') ends in engaging in the activity. 1

The claim that a particular activity is the human self-realization activity is a strong normative claim. If it is true, then agents who wish to lead a life in accordance with their nature as human beings--agents who wish to realize their specifically human nature (that is, to lead the good fife for human beings)--should engage in that activity. And any society that systematically prevents the proper exercise of that activity is a bad society.

Of course the 1844 Marx thinks capitalism is a bad society, and he thinks a significant part of its badness is that it prevents the proper exercise of the human self-realization activity. In this chapter, however, my focus is not Marx's polemic against capitalism. It is whether he can justify his conception of human nature in general, and especially his conception of the human self-realization activity. I argue that, given his own premises, there is a problem, under capitalism, in doing so.

-192-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Marx's Attempt to Leave Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 430

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.