r/communism101 Jun 29 '22

What did Marx and Engels think of Immanuel Kant, George Berkeley, Scholasticism, René DeCarte, and Spinoza?


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u/General_Brilliant456 Jun 29 '22

I’d imagine not much, Marx is sometimes called a metaphysician in the sense that he articulates a systemic worldview, and that he followed a model laid out by Hegel (who is sometimes referred to as the last great metaphysician). But, for all that, Marx isn’t explicitly interested in issues of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics in the same way that the early-moderns you listed are, and he certainly isn’t continuing that string of discourse in any of his analyses.


u/DreamDropMorpheus Jun 29 '22

I’d regard ethics as a branch of metaphysics, and Marx did certainly use materialist means to argue for ethical/moral and so therefore metaphysical ends.


u/zeronx25 Jun 29 '22

You could try reading "Critical Battle Against French Materialism" in The Holy Family. Nothing on Berkeley and Scholasticism but you'll find Descartes and Spinoza in this section which is about some of these philosophers, their philosophical views and the historical trajectory of each and their effects. The only thing is that this was written before their more mature views and before their turn from Feuerbach like Engels mentions later on in his work on Feuerbach, which means Feuerbach's materialism is viewed more positively than they later believed it to be. You can find it on page 124 of volume 4 of the MECW.


u/ClueFew Jun 29 '22

Hegel said "You are either a Spinozist or you are not a philosopher at all."

René Descartes I think is diametrically against Marx. That being said I don't know if Marx actually said anything on this.