Karl Marx (2nd Edition) (Arguments of the Philosophers) by Allen W. Wood

By Allen W. Wood

This is often essentially the most revered books on Marx's philosophical inspiration. wooden explains Marx's perspectives from a philosophical perspective and defends Marx opposed to universal misunderstandings and criticisms of his perspectives. all of the significant philosophical themes in Marx's paintings are thought of: the critical inspiration of alienation; ancient materialism and Marx's account of social periods; the character and social functionality of morality; philosophical materialism and Marx's atheism; and Marx's use of the Hegelian dialectical process and the Marxian thought of value.

The moment variation has been revised to incorporate a brand new bankruptcy on capitalist exploitation and new feedback for extra examining. wooden has additionally further a considerable new preface which appears at Marx's suggestion in mild of the autumn of the Soviet Union and our endured ambivalence in the direction of capitalism, exploring Marx's carrying on with relevance within the twenty-first century.

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Extra info for Karl Marx (2nd Edition) (Arguments of the Philosophers)

Example text

Alienation, as the experience of one’s self and life as empty, worthless and degraded, is admittedly a rather vague notion. But for our present purposes there is little point in trying to make it more precise. The vagueness is built into the notion of alienation both as it can be found in Marx’s writings and as it belongs to popular social thought. It may be that the concept of alienation is too vague to serve as a useful tool of social analysis or criticism. But several generations of fruitful social thought have treated alienation as an important and a characteristically Marxian idea.

The only remedy for alienation is the attainment of a higher stage of self-knowledge, where God and humanity, the universal essence of spirit and its particular 11 T H E C O N C E P T O F A L I E N AT I O N self-consciousness, are seen to be fundamentally in harmony or identical with each other. Feuerbach’s critique of religion frees Hegel’s analysis of the unhappy consciousness from its mystical trappings, and makes explicit its latent humanism. According to Feuerbach, the idea of God is really no more than our idea of our own human essence, our Gattungswesen, erroneously conceived as an entity distinct from and opposed to us.

Alienation, as the experience of one’s self and life as empty, worthless and degraded, is admittedly a rather vague notion. But for our present purposes there is little point in trying to make it more precise. The vagueness is built into the notion of alienation both as it can be found in Marx’s writings and as it belongs to popular social thought. It may be that the concept of alienation is too vague to serve as a useful tool of social analysis or criticism. But several generations of fruitful social thought have treated alienation as an important and a characteristically Marxian idea.

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