Comment on the phylosophical synthesis of karl marx

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The Philosophical Synthesis of Marx

Not very long ago it was extremely fashionable among official men of

learning to say that Marx had really produced nothing new in the

philosophical sphere. Such a well-known philosopher as Wilhelm Wundt in

his Introduction to Philosophy wrote "This lack of clarity in its

metaphysical premises (i.e. of Marxism. N.B.) has a comprehensible

basis in the fact that practical questions alone interest sociological

materialism. Therefore the system does not even possess the necessary

theoretical foundation, which it openly leaves to physiological

materialism to work out."1)

It would be hard to find an argument so utterly ignorant and untrue as

the above-quoted argument of Wundt. However, the course of the social

struggle and of vast ideological changes which, like the overwhelming

movement of geological formations, express the depth of the conflict

within the perishing world of capitalism, has compelled consideration

of the question of Marx the philosopher.

Since the publication of new

works by Marx and Engels (above all the German Ideology and Engels'

Dialectic of Nature) it has become quite clear how right were the

orthodox Marxians when they considered that in the philosophical field

also Marx fills the place due to him.

Indeed Marx is the creator of a great philosophical synthesis with

which none of the latest and most fashionable philosophical systems can

be compared. Marx, as we know, reached dialectical materialism from

Hegel through Feuerbach, including all the rational elements of the

preceding thousand years of philosophical development in his system. He

had a splendid knowledge of the history of philosophy and there are no

more brilliant historical and philosophical characterisations (both

from the point of view of the social conditioning of doctrines and that

of their "immanent" logic) than certain of Marx's characterisations.2)

In order to show the full originality...