Re: [OPE-L] Marx: In Our Time

From: Ian Hunt (ian.hunt@FLINDERS.EDU.AU)
Date: Wed Jul 20 2005 - 20:10:39 EDT

The 'greatest philosopher' is a misnomer: Marx just garnered the
largest percentage of votes compared with the next nearest, who I
think was David Hume.
Marx's critique of Philosophy was really a critique of Hegelian philosophy
  - philosophy changes under the impact of science. In many areas of
philosophy today, philosophy examines the impact of science on
'common sense' and interprets and explores the scope and limits of
science. Philosophy today is scientifically informed (or, at least,
English speaking philosophy is). Marx's science incorporates much
philosophy - but it takes philosophy to interpret Marx's thought,
with its scientific, philosophical and historical elements, and it
takes philosophy to explore its scope and limits. That, of course,
leaves the problem of changing the world to which philosophy makes a
contribution, even if a limited one ...


>In solidarity, Jerry
>Isle au Haut
>---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
>Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Marx: In Our Time
>From:    "Jurriaan Bendien" <>
>Date:    Tue, July 19, 2005 9:48 pm
>The curious part is that Marx himself distanced himself from philosophical
>endeavours and at least in his mature years saw himself as somebody
>scientifically investigating modern society by means of a rational inquiry
>into the known facts. (The German Ideology: "one must leave philosophy
>aside... philosophy is to the real world as masturbation is to sexual love")
>Engels even claimed later that philosophy was now largely redundant except
>for logic and the theory of knowledge. Both men specifically rejected the
>idea of some kind of "philosophy of history".
>Also interesting how a thinker who had  ""The philosophers have interpreted
>the world in various ways, the point is change it" engraved on his tombstone
>gets to have the status of "greatest philosopher".
>When I was a philosophy student, I was taught that philosophy concerns the
>most general questions about people and the world. The general tenor of
>Marx's approach would however appear to be that problems posed in a
>"general, speculative philosophical way" permit of no real solution; a real
>science would concern itself with limited truths and specifics; i.e. the
>real question concerned the processes by which we arrive at our
>It could of course be argued that Marx could never really abandoned
>philosophy himself despite his criticisms of philosophers.

Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
Dept  of Philosophy, School of Humanities,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Flinders University of SA,
Humanities Building,
Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

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