Karl Marx

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  • Karl Marx
    • Historical Materialism
      • Marx was a historicist
        • Philosophy cannot be done in abstraction from historical events
      • Weakness of enlightenment for Marx = lacked explanation for social change
      • Thought humans and society were an organism that changes and develops
      • Society and individuals cannot be understood other than historically
    • Hegel
      • Preceded and influenced Marx
      • Hegel thought the historical process was dialectial
      • The Dialectic
        • All things are contradictory in themselves
        • Contradiction is basis of movement life and change
        • 3 stages
        • 1. Simple unity - object as understood prior to change
        • 2. Negation - object as understood to give rise to its contradictory
        • 3.Negation of negation - opposition between 1 and 2 understood to be reconciled within a greater unity
      • Everything exists in the infinite mind of god (absolute spirit)
      • Alienation - humanity believes itself separate and isolated from both nature and God
      • Alienation overcome through development of human consciousness, recognizing ..
        • both nature + itself=part of overarching unity of absolute spirit
    • Marx and History
      • Hugely critical of the idea that everything is mental and absolute spirit
      • Dialectic is just a tool to understand historical change
      • History for Marx is history of class struggle
        • Series of material and social contradictions
      • Everything shaped by what you need to survive and necessities of life
      • Our ideas, philosophies etc rest on nature of the production of our means of physical survival
      • For Marx, humans are essentially producers
      • Means of production plus labour power = forces of production
      • Material progress in terms of power over nature


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