Anthropological materialism of L. Feuerbach as a necessary stepping stone for non-classical philosophy of the 19-20 centuries

Hegel, the giant of nineteen century German Philosophy.

GEORG WILHELM FRIEDRICH HEGEL (1770-1831) was the real system builder. Hegel was clearly a giant and his influence on entire generations of thinkers was without parallel.

The system Hegel created was vast to some it was impenetrable. Yet despite its difficulties it exercised enormous influence on generations of social, political and religious thinkers. Like Aristotle, Hegel was a polymath -- he knew a great deal about a great many things. And like Aristotle, Hegel is difficult to understand. Passages must be reread several times for clarity and import. Perhaps his philosophy may be reduced to one fundamental principle: "what is real is rational. What is rational is real." What this means is that all history is the unfolding of reality itself, the Idea or Mind of the Universe. What happens in history is, in effect, the writing of a book of which God is the ultimate author, but in which humans participate. For those who followed Hegel -- the Young Hegelians -- history was no longer chaotic, jumbled or meaningless.

For decades German philosophy had been searching for the underlying ideal unity of all things. Hegel would show that this was a process working itself out over time. Behind the apparent jumble of events, the philosopher-historian can discern a great pattern, or process, at work.

In reaction to Kant, Hegel tried to create a totality that saw the universe as one great whole. The self-realization of the Spirit, as it grows to full consciousness, takes place in and through human history.

Hegel¡¯s grand philosophic system influenced a great many thinkers: Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872), Karl Marx (1818-1883), Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), John Dewey (1859-1952), and Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979). A good deal of the appeal to Hegel came from the fact that it was a complete system, a total system, an organic whole, a unified, total philosophy.

But to a generation confused by many ideas and by sometimes drastic political and social change, Hegel offered a satisfactory unity that found a place for everything. Faced with the question, "who is right? Liberal, conservative, Benthamite or socialist?" Hegel could answer -- all are. Each has its time and its place.

Still others, would use the idea of historical destiny to justify social revolution. Hegel influenced all schools of European thought in Germany, the Continent and in the United States. What is most interesting I think -- and this will give us a key to understanding the proliferation of -isms -- is that Hegel bequeathed his name to a world view, a philosophical disposition which we today call Hegelian.

Anthropological materialism of L. Feuerbach as a necessary stepping stone for non-classical philosophy of the 19-20 centuries.

German materialist philosopher and atheist.

Feuerbach, however, did not abandon his scholarly work. In a three-volume work on the history of 17th-century philosophy, Feuerbach, essentially adhering to Hegelian positions, devoted more attention to the materialist philosophers and atheists and evaluated highly their contribution to the development of scientific thought.

Feuerbach wholeheartedly welcomed the Revolution of 1848. However, he did not take an active part in political life; even as a deputy to the Frankfurt Assembly in 1848, he remained politically passive. In the last years of his life, Feuerbach displayed great interest in social and economic problems; he studied K. Marx Das Kapital and in 1870 joined the Social Democratic Party.

Feuerbachs principal works include A Critique of Hegels Philosophy (1839), The Essence of Christianity (1841), Principles of the Philosophy of the Future (1843) and Preliminary Theses for a Reform of Philosophy (1842).

Feuerbachs life constituted an uncompromising struggle against religion. In contrast to the Hegelian philosopny of religion, Feuerbach regarded philosophy and religion as world views that were mutually exclusive.

Religion, in Feuerbachs view, paralyzes mans aspiration for a better life in the real world and for a transformation of this world; in place of this aspiration, religion leaves man with a submissive and patient expectation of a future supernatural requital.

Feuerbachs criticism of religion grew into criticism of philosophical idealism, which culminated in his acceptance of materialism in 1839. After becoming convinced of the kinship between idealism and religion, Feuerbach engaged in combat against the consummate form of idealism: German classical idealism and its culmination, Hegels philosophy.

In the theory of cognition, Feuerbach continued the line of materialist sensationalism. Giving priority to experience as the source of knowledge, he stressed the mutual connection between sensate contemplation and thought in the process of cognition.

The heart of Feuerbachs doctrine is that man is the sole, universal, and supreme subject of philosophy (ibid., p. 202). Feuerbachs anthropological materialism proceeds from a view of man as a psychophysiological being. Man, according to Feuerbach, is a material object and simultaneously a thinking subject.

Feuerbachs world view culminated in his doctrine of morality, which was based on the unity of I and thou. In Feuerbach, the system of social relations is replaced by the concepts of species and interpersonal communication. The pursuit of happiness, viewed as the driving-force of human will, entails a consciousness of moral duty, since I can neither be happy nor exist altogether without thou.

The historic importance of Feuerbachs philosophical and antireligious ideas is strikingly apparent since his materialism became the point of departure for the formation of the philosophy of Marxism.

18.Marxism a new doctrine of the 19th century. The idea of alienation.

Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry based upon a materialist interpretation of historical development, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis of class-relations within society and their application in the analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. In the mid-to-late 19th century, the intellectual development of Marxism was pioneered by two German philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxist analyses and methodologies have influenced multiple political ideologies and social movements throughout history. Marxism encompasses an economic theory, a sociological theory, a philosophical method and a revolutionary view of social change.[1] There is no one definitive Marxist theory; Marxist analysis has been applied to a variety of different subjects and has been modified during the course of its development so that there are multiple Marxist theories.[2]

Marxism is based on a materialist understanding of societal development, taking at its starting point the necessary economic activities required by human society to provide for its material needs. The form of economic organization, or mode of production, is understood to be the basis from which the majority of other social phenomena including social relations, political and legal systems, morality and ideology arise (or at the least by which they are greatly influenced). These social relations form the superstructure, for which the economic system forms the base. As the forces of production (most notably technology) improve, existing forms of social organization become inefficient and stifle further progress. These inefficiencies manifest themselves as social contradictions in the form of class struggle.[3]

According to Marxist analysis, class conflict within capitalism arises due to intensifying contradictions between highly-productive mechanized and socialized production performed by the proletariat, and private ownership and private appropriation of the surplus product in the form of surplus value (profit) by a small minority of private owners called the bourgeoisie. As the contradiction becomes apparent to the proletariat, social unrest between the two antagonistic classes intensifies, culminating in a social revolution. The eventual long-term outcome of this revolution would be the establishment of socialism - a socioeconomic system based on cooperative ownership of the means of production, distribution based on one's contribution, and production organized directly for use. Karl Marx hypothesized that, as the productive forces and technology continued to advance, socialism would eventually give way to a communist stage of social development. Communism would be a classless, stateless, moneyless society based on common ownership and the principle of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

Marxism has developed into different branches and schools of thought. Different schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of Classical Marxism while de-emphasizing or rejecting other aspects of Marxism, sometimes combining Marxist analysis with non-Marxian concepts. Some variants of Marxism primarily focus on one aspect of Marxism as the determining force in social development - such as the mode of production, class, power-relationships or property ownership - while arguing other aspects are less important or current research makes them irrelevant. Despite sharing similar premises, different schools of Marxism might reach contradictory conclusions from each other. For example, different Marxian economists have contradictory explanations of economic crisis and different predictions for the outcome of such crises. Furthermore, different variants of Marxism apply Marxist analysis to study different aspects of society (e.g.: mass culture, economic crises, or Feminism).

These theoretical differences have led various socialist and communist parties and political movements to embrace different political strategies for attaining socialism, advocate different programs and policies. One example of this is the division between revolutionary socialists and reformists that emerged in the German Social Democratic Party during the early 20th century.

19.Contemporary philosophy: general characteristics, basic ideas, schools, philosophers.

Contemporary philosophy is the present period in the history of Western philosophy beginning at the end of the 19th century with the professionalization of the discipline and the rise of analyticand continental philosophy. Changes in society, beginning in the 18th century and continuing into our own time, underlie the romantic movement. It starts as a reaction against the intellectualism of the Enlightenment, against the rigidity of social structures protecting privilege, and against the materialism of an age which, in the first stirring of the Industrial Revolution, already shows signs of making workers the slaves of machinery and of creating squalid urban environments. Unlike classicism or the baroque, romanticism has no definable standards. Indeed rejection of rules is almost a touchstone of the romantic temperament. As a result a mood which pervades much of western life during the past two centuries is hard to define except in terms of opposites. The romantic temperament responds to emotion rather than reason, is excited by mystery rather than persuaded by clarity, listens more intently to the individual conscience than to the demands of society, and prefers rebellion to acceptanc.


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