Hegelians (The Young), Feuerbach, and Marx
- The Young Hegelians, Feuerbach, and Marx Robert Nola Largely through lectures delivered at the University of Berlin, Hegel built up a circle of followers, mainly contemporaries or pupils, who were intent on working out aspects of the philosophical system that their master had suggested but left undeveloped. After Hegel’s death in 1831 this circle, later dubbed “the Old Hegelians,” became the core of a group of philosophers whose task was to put the finishing touches to the Hegelian philosophical edifice. Though there were during Hegel’s lifetime external critics of his philosophy, especially his theology, the work of his close associates was directed toward establishing the unity of his system rather than exposing its inner tensions. True to its dialectical character, Hegel’s philosophy did contain contradictory tendencies which if taken too far would transform the apparent unity of his system into a clash of opposites. When “the Young Hegelians” emerged in the mid-1830s, they exploited in various ways these contradictory tendencies, thereby dissolving the unity of Hegel’s system and bringing about what Marx called “the putrescence of the absolute spirit.” Though his followers were not united on every aspect of Hegel’s philosophy, after his death the differences between them became more marked, first in theology then in political theory. Latent divisions became open disputes when the 27-year-old David Friedrich Strauss published his The Life of Jesus Critically Examined in 1835–6, thereby breaking with Hegel over matters to do with religion and philosophy. Strauss (1808–74), who had attended some of Hegel’s lectures just before his death, differed markedly from his master over the role which was to be assigned to the Gospels and to the life of Jesus within speculative theology. While Hegel did not pay much attention to the actual details of the life of Christ and the historicity of the Gospels, he did think that the basic tenets of Christianity, found in the doctrine of the Trinity and expressed in historical events such as the Incarnation, the Ascension, the Creation, and the Fall, could be given an independent philosophical foundation. There would be no need to appeal, for example, to miracles or to historical evidence to establish Christian doctrine. For Hegel the very content of Christianity is identical with the content of Hegelian philosophy, though the form of each is different. The difference in form is the difference between Vorstellung (representation) and Begriff (concept). In the case of the philosophical Begriff, Hegelian philosophy gives us the absolute content of Christianity in the form of pure thought, or as a “deduction” from pure thought. In the case of the Vorstellung, popular Christianity with its dogmas deals in pictorial or representational imagery or in figurative thought. These images are not logically particular, as are our sensuous experiences of our mental imagery, but are alleged to be of universal significance; aspects of pure thought contained in such imagery are to be made explicit within Hegelian philosophical theology. During his time as a vicar in 1830–1 Strauss became acutely aware of this difference of form; the popular religious Vorstellung of his parishioners seemed far removed from the religious Begriff of the Hegelian philosopher-theologian. While not abandoning the latter, Strauss delved more into the former, particularly the historical genesis of the ideas of Christianity among its earliest devotees. This in turn led to a close study of the life of Jesus and the manner in which this was presented in biblical texts. When The Life of Jesus was finally published most of it was devoted to a densely argued critical examination of the historicity of the Gospels— with only a little devoted to philosophy and speculative theology. The startling result of Strauss’s research was that even though there was an historical Christ there was little that we could regard as true of him. Instead most of the biblical stories about him were to be understood as myths, constructed not by individuals but by the earliest Christian communities in response to the teaching of Christ and the Messianic tradition which they had inherited from the Old Testament. For Strauss an “evangelical mythus [is] a narrative relating directly or indirectly to Jesus, which may be considered not as the expression of a fact, but as the product of an idea of his earliest followers.”1 Earlier theologians had accounted for much of the Old Testament in terms of myth. Strauss, who drew on their work, was one of the first to extend the mythical account to much that had previously passed as literal truth in the four Gospels and the rest of the New Testament. Though his mythical account of the Gospels still remains contentious, Strauss’s critical work on their historicity stands at the beginning of the modern tradition of scholarly and scientific study of the New Testament. For Strauss the Hegelian theologian, the important consequence of his research was that there was no longer any identity between Hegelian philosophy and the Christian religion. Hegel’s philosophical theology still remained correct, but if the stories of the Gospels were no longer historical truths but myths, then there is nothing in the actual history of Christianity for Hegelian theology to capture and the theology stands quite independently. As Strauss says in the Preface to the First German Edition: The author is aware that the essence of the Christian faith is perfectly independent of his criticism. The supernatural birth of Christ, his miracles, his resurrection and ascension, remain eternal truths, whatever doubts may be cast on their reality as historical facts.2 At the end of his book Strauss also made another highly contentious claim: since God and man have the same essence, viz., spirit, then they are not genuinely distinct, and thus humanity is divine. Strauss even allowed himself to talk of the God-man as an expression of this unity.3 The argument for the identity is a bad one; the Young Hegelians were not, on the whole, sensitive to the logical faults in their arguments. However, the rejection of a transcendent God and the identification of God with man underline the extreme humanism that characterized not only Strauss’s thought but the thought of all the Young Hegelians. The conclusion of Strauss’s investigations would have been, at the time of their publication, sensational enough for ordinary believers. The notoriety of his book was such that Strauss was prevented from ever obtaining a permanent university position in Germany. The reaction of his fellow Hegelians was also sensational; many rejected his interpretation of the Bible and came to doubt his Hegelian orthodoxy. In reply to their criticism in his “Controversial Writings”4 Strauss divided the Hegelians into the Right, Center, and Left—his model being the various political factions in the French National Assembly. The Right Hegelians, also called “Old Hegelians,” tended to conserve as much of the doctrines of their master as possible, particularly the old doctrine of the unity of Hegelian philosophy with the historical truth of Christianity. The Right included such people as the old defender of Hegel against earlier criticisms, Karl Friedrich Göschel (1784–1861); the successor to Hegel’s chair of philosophy in Berlin, Georg Andreas Gabier (1786–1853); and, very briefly, the young Bruno Bauer (1809–82). The Center included people such as Karl Rosenkranz (1805–79) who accepted most of what Strauss claimed about Christ and the Gospels but who insisted, contrary to Strauss, that Christ, not humanity as a whole, was divine. (It was Rosenkranz who published in 1840 a comic drama about the dissolution of Hegel’s School after his death.)5 Strauss’s supporters were on the Left— the Left Hegelians. This division of reactions to Strauss’s work persisted even when other Left Hegelians subsequently developed their own critiques of Christianity in ways different from Strauss’s mythological explanations. Karl Ludwig Michelet (1801–93), a Center Hegelian who was in other respects sufficiently orthodox to be one of a panel whose task was to edit the works of Hegel, suggested that there was enough in common between the Center and the Left to make the distinction unnecessary. But this initial attempt to overcome one of the divisions among the Hegelians failed to touch the major division. The differences deepened when the terms “Old (i.e. Right) Hegelians” and “Young (i.e. Left) Hegelians” became a common mode of designation for the two factions in the late 1830s6— though such a bipartite division simplifies in many respects the complex relationships that existed among German philosophers in the two decades after Hegel’s death. As Karl Löwith says of the Old Hegelians who eschewed any radical philosophical innovation: They preserved Hegel’s philosophy literally, continuing it in individual historical studies, but they did not reproduce it in a uniform manner beyond the period of Hegel’s personal influence. For the historical movement in the nineteenth century they are without significance.7 The Young Hegelians were more radical; they dared explore innovatively Hegel’s philosophy for their own time, rejecting aspects of it as they saw fit. The important Young Hegelians, some of whom had attended Hegel’s lectures at the University in Berlin, include: Arnold Ruge (1802–80); Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–72); Max Stirner (1806–56); David Strauss (1808–74); Bruno Bauer (1809–82) and his younger brother Edgar Bauer (1820–86); Moses Hess (1812–75); August von Cieszkowski (1814–94); Karl Marx (1818–83); and Friedrich Engels (1820–95). As their dates indicate, they were all born within the first two decades of the nineteenth century, and most, if Engels and Marx are excluded, were born in the first decade. Despite appearances the Old/Young distinction is not based on age since many contemporaries of the Young Hegelians were sufficiently philosophically orthodox to be grouped with the Old Hegelians (e.g. Rosenkranz and Michelet). Nor should it be assumed that the Left/Right distinction carries its standard political connotations. Rosenkranz, who was active in politics, adopted a liberal rather than a reactionary stance despite his identification with the Old Hegelians. In contrast, even though Strauss’s views on religion were radical, he was conservative politically, especially in the period leading up to the revolutions of 1848 when he became involved (on the whole unsuccessfully) in practical politics.8 In fact in the 1840s, even though Strauss’s Life of Jesus was still an important work for unorthodox Hegelians, he ceased to be a leading Young Hegelian as the focus of the criticism of Hegel shifted from his speculative theology to his social and political theory. Given the close alliance in the Germany of the time between religion and state, any criticism of religion inevitably brought in its train conflict with the state. For this reason alone none of the Young Hegelians were able to obtain permanent teaching positions in German universities and their work was often subject to the scrutiny of the censor. For many of the Young Hegelians their critique of religion in the late 1830s laid the ground for a critique of the state in the 1840s—though few took the bold approach of Marx and Engels in finally jettisoning much of the Hegelian theory of the state and in supporting revolutionary movements. The political and social changes in Germany in the 1830s and 1840s did shape some of the differences between the Old and the Young Hegelians. Löwith makes a suggestive point when he says that the divisions between Old and Young Hegelians can be traced back to Hegel’s dictum that “the real is the rational and the rational is the real.”9 The conservative Old Hegelians put emphasis on the first part of this dictum, thereby supporting the status quo, viz., that the real existing state is also rational. In contrast the more radical Young Hegelians put emphasis on the second half of the dictum, viz., currently existing conditions were irrational and would have to be transformed so that in the future the real would be the rational (a view quickly adopted by Marx and Engels). In respect of this dictum Hegel himself was more of an Old than a Young Hegelian. The Young Hegelian movement began after the European revolutions of 1830, reached its zenith in the early 1840s, and was over by the 1848 revolutions. Frederick-William IV, who ascended the Prussian throne in 1840, had the support of many of the Young Hegelians who looked forward to the reform of the bureaucratic Prussian state and to greater participation of a broader range of people in public life. Initially the Young Hegelians benefited from the relaxation of censorship and the creation of a freer press which allowed their ideas to gain wider circulation. But this was short-lived for by the end of 1842 the radical press had been suppressed and the monarch began to move Prussia in the direction of a conservative Christian state. For the Young Hegelians who had criticized received conceptions of religion and whose political thought was, in several cases, strongly influenced by the ideals of the French Revolution, this was a move in the opposite direction from the constitutional democracy which many favored. It is thus not surprising that some of the Young Hegelians turned to a critique of Hegel’s political and social theory. Among the first of these critics was Arnold Ruge whose “Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and the Politics of Our Times” appeared in August 1842 in the Deutscher Jahrbücher which he edited. Ruge argued that there was a deep-seated contradiction between the theory of the state which Hegel developed and the actual state in which he existed. As he put the matter: “The abstract inwardness of Protestantism did not free even Hegel from the illusion that one could be theoretically free without being politically free.”10 According to Ruge this raised for Hegel an ethical question which had previously haunted Kant, viz., even though one should not state falsely what one believes, should one create controversy by publicly disclosing all of what one truly believes? In Ruge’s view it might have been diplomatic for Hegel not to have publicly aired all that he thought. He commented: “If Hegel had been presented with an opportunity to stand up for his theory, his times would have had to have turned against him, as happened with Kant.”11 Even though during his lifetime Hegel’s philosophical theories, including his theory of the state, had the support of the Prussian government, Ruge pointedly observed that Hegel passed over the contradiction between his theory and the actual Prussian state without acknowledgment. Ruge also complained that Hegel undertook to present the hereditary monarch, the majority, the bicameral system, etc., as logical necessities, whereas it had to be a matter of establishing all of these as products of history and of explaining and criticizing them as historical existences.12 In Ruge’s view there is a place both for the philosophical discussion of the purposes and aims of the state and for the historical (and social) investigation of any form of government. However, one should not conflate historical and logical categories. Ruge goes to the heart of his difficulty with Hegel’s Philosophy of Right when he says: “[Hegel] wrenches the state out of history and considers all of its historical forms only under logical categories (thus, right from the start the categories of universality, specificity, and singularity are employed again and again).”13 Ruge’s complaint was to be repeated later by Marx. In February 1844 Ruge published in the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher Marx’s own critique of German philosophy and the German state in an article entitled “A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right’: introduction.” This was only part of a much longer paragraph-by-paragraph critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right which Marx had written in the previous year and which he had intended to revise for publication; the surviving sections of this critique first saw the light of day only in 1927.14 Though the published “Introduction” does not contain any detailed criticism of Hegel of the sort found in the unpublished drafts, Marx does use some Hegelian notions when, for the first time, he proclaims that the proletariat is the class whose revolution will bring about the emancipation of humanity. For Marx the proletariat is a part of what Hegel had called “civil society”; at the time Marx was writing it was just beginning to emerge in Germany with the rise of industrial development. For Hegel civil society is the sphere of private interest in which each person pursues their own ends often in conflict with others; in contrast the state is that sphere in which the clash of private interests is transcended and there is unity and universality of interest. Whatever defects there may be in actual states, Hegel says in the Preface to his Philosophy of Right: “This book, then, containing as it does the science of the state, is to be nothing other than the endeavour to apprehend and portray the state as something inherently rational.”15 In criticizing Hegel, Marx sets out to show: there is no separation of the sort Hegel envisages between civil society and the state; the falsity of Hegel’s supposition that in the state there is rationality and unity; and universality of interest masks the fact that in actual states the interests of one particular group dominate within civil society. Though Hegel recognizes that there are various groups within society, such as civil servants, an agricultural class, an industrial/commercial class, etc., the notion of the proletariat developed in Marx’s critique of Hegel is distinctively Marx’s own—but without the theoretical depth that his later economic analyses would give the notion. However, the genesis of Marx’s notion of the proletariat does have its roots in Hegel’s notion of a universal class, i.e. a class whose interests are supposedly those of society as a whole. Marx rejects Hegel’s idea that the universal class might be the class of civil servants or the bureaucracy. He also claims that Hegel’s attempt to reconcile the differences between civil society and the state is misplaced; instead the historical role of the proletariat is to abolish the very ground which makes these differences possible. In answer to the selfposed question “Where is the positive possibility of a German emancipation?” Marx replies that it lies In the formation of a class with radical chains, a class of civil society which is not a class of civil society…a sphere which has a universal character by its universal suffering…a sphere, finally, which cannot emancipate itself without emancipating itself from all other spheres of society and thereby emancipating all other spheres of society, which, in a word, is the complete loss of man and hence can win itself only through the complete rewinning of man. This dissolution of society as a particular estate is the proletariat. (MECW, 3:186)16 The future evolution of the proletariat is also described in the “Introduction” in terms of Hegel’s dialectic—the one prominent feature of Hegelian thought that Marx never abandoned. Marx speaks of the proletariat “demanding the negation of private property.” For the proletariat private property is “the secret of its own existence”; by calling for its abolition the proletariat undermines the very condition that makes its own existence possible. Thus the quite thoroughgoing nature of the social transformation that Marx envisages, viz., “the dissolution of the hitherto existing world order” (MECW, 3:187). Marx’s notion of the proletariat thus has its origin both in a critique of speculative Hegelian political theory and in Marx’s observation of the social changes taking place within Germany at the time. Much later when writing Capital, Marx found a more secure basis for his views about the proletariat in his economic theory; they are the means whereby surplus value is created. But, as chapter 32 of Capital 1 shows, Marx still maintained that the future evolution of the proletariat was best described using the notions of the Hegelian dialectic. It was through Arnold Ruge’s activities as an editor and publisher that many of the ideas of the Young Hegelians found a public outlet. In 1837 he started the highly influential Hallische Jahrbücher für deutsche Wissenschaft und Kunst. Owing to the pressure of censorship Ruge shifted to Dresden in 1841 and continued the journal under the new name Deutsche Jahrbücher für Wissenschaft und Kunst, However, early in 1843 even this journal was suppressed, along with Marx’s daily newspaper Rheinische Zeitung. In 1844 a similar fate befell the Allgemeine Literatur- Zeitung, started by Bruno and Edgar Bauer in Berlin in the previous year, thus ending the sequence of journals that had been the main public vehicle for Young Hegelian thought. These journals helped give the Young Hegelian movement a semblance of identity. Their end was only partly due to censorship; by 1845 the movement itself had lost whatever unity it might have possessed and much of its impetus. The Berlin wing of the Young Hegelians, also known as Die Freien, had its origin in the Doktorenklub, a group formed at the University of Berlin in 1837 for the discussion of radical Hegelian ideas (it was in this group that Marx became acquainted with Hegelian philosophy). The leading member of Die Freien was Bruno Bauer. As a student he had attended Hegel’s lectures and had been deemed sufficiently orthodox to be asked to defend the Right Hegelian position against Strauss’s Life of Jesus. Soon after reviewing the book Bauer was converted to its general themes and took an even more radical position than Strauss on Christianity; he became an atheist, arguing in several works that not only was there no historical truth to be found in the Gospels but Christianity was a barrier to progress and it was an irrational doctrine that ought to be opposed. Bauer’s subsequent dismissal from his university position became a cause célèbre for the Young Hegelians during the early 1840s. With little to lose Bauer wrote an ironic attack on Hegelian philosophy in an 1841 pamphlet, The Trumpet of the Last Judgment over Hegel the Atheist and Antichrist: An Ultimatum, in which Hegel is exposed as a closet atheist and revolutionary. Even the apostasy of Young Hegelians, Bauer claimed, is not original to them, for Hegel too, when unmasked, is revealed to be one of them: “It cannot be believed that they [the Young Hegelians] have not recognized the destructive rage of this [Hegel’s] system, for they have taken their principle only from their Master”!17 Thus the true heirs of Hegelian thought were not the Old Hegelians and their ilk (found in university and government circles) but the Young Hegelians, since Hegel himself, when properly interpreted, also espoused their subversive and radical doctrines. Though Bauer continued his attacks on religion he slowly dissociated himself from Die Freien, whom he dubbed “beer literati”; after the 1848 revolution, which he thought seriously mistaken, he became politically conservative. By the early 1840s Marx, who had been close to Bauer when a student at the University of Berlin, had begun to reject many of Bauer’s characteristic views, especially his development of a modified version of Hegel’s theory of self-consciousness. The progress of man, Bauer alleged, occurred as the result of the development of successive levels of selfconsciousness, criticism being the means whereby the development of selfconsciousness took place. The term “criticism” was one of the buzzwords of the Young Hegelian movement, meaning many things to each of them; Bauer and his followers even referred to their own theoretical activity as “Critical Criticism.” Bauer became the object of sustained critical attacks by Marx in both his 1844 article “On the Jewish Question” and his first collaborative work with Engels, The Holy Family, or Critique of Critical Criticism: Against Bruno Bauer and Company (first published in February 1845). The “Holy Family” were Bauer and his contributors to the Allgemeine Literatur- Zeitung, many of whom wrote in opposition to the Communist movement as it was currently developing. They doubted whether any proletarian movement could ever be the means whereby the appropriate development of self-consciousness, whether personal or social, could be achieved. For example, in September 1844 Bauer wrote in his journal that the crowd (i.e. the masses or the proletariat) were in conflict with Spirit, i.e. with critical self-consciousness. Among others he attacks French communism because if it were to achieve its aims “it would abolish freedom in the smallest things” and give rise to a “despotic condition of subdued atoms.” His conclusion is that there is “an inevitable war of the multitude against spirit and self-consciousness, and the significance of this war is found in nothing less than the fact that in it the cause of criticism is set against the genus [human species].”18 With much hindsight it might be thought that Bauer has anticipated the despotic communism of some recent Communist societies—forms of communism which Marx had already criticized in his unpublished Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844.19 However, Bauer’s article is obscure both in its argument and in its appeal to “spirit and self-consciousness” as opposed to “the crowd.” Marx became increasingly opposed to the use of self-consciousness as a fundamental category of analysis; along with this went his rejection of Bauer’s Critical Criticism as the means whereby self-consciousness is to be developed. From Marx’s perspective it is evident that Bauer’s Critical Criticism applied to self-consciousness would represent a dead end in subjective idealism and even a regressive step away from the objective idealism of Hegel. Also in drafts of the unpublished Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 Marx had written of the need to criticize Bauer’s views; Feuerbach, Marx claimed, had shown what was wrong with the mystical transcendental aspect of Hegel’s dialectic which Bauer continued to use.20 More significantly, while in Paris in 1844 Marx had attended meetings of a worker’s society called the League of the Just and had closely aligned himself with the French Communist movement; consequently he was at odds with all the contributors to the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung concerning the role of “the crowd” that Bauer and others had denigrated. The friendship that had developed between Marx and Engels from August 1844 gave them the opportunity to collaborate in producing The Holy Family. Beside the broadsides against the Berlin faction of the Young Hegelians and others, the book contains not only the further development of Marx’s theory of the proletariat outlined in his earlier critical work on Hegel, but also the first outlines of what was to become Marx’s theory of historical materialism. Unfortunately much of the dated polemics of The Holy Family obscures this aspect of the development of Marx’s thought. Despite the considerable differences between Marx and Bauer, Marx absorbed much of Bauer’s writings; as McLellan shows,21 Marx uses one of Bauer’s metaphors when he famously says that religion is the opium of the people. One of the final works to be identified with the Young Hegelian movement was Dir Einzige und sein Eigentum (1845), written by another member of Die Freien, Max Stirner (his real name being the more prosaic Johann Schmidt). Stirner’s fame rests on this one book, known in English as The Ego and its Own: The Case of the Individual against Authority. The book, which initially attracted much attention, is in several places merely a collection of notes without an overall structure, as befits it anarchistic theme. However, Marx and Engels thought it sufficiently important to write their own book-length critique of Stirner, whom they dubbed “Saint Max”; this long, sometimes turgid, often insightful polemic remained unpublished during their life-time.22 Though Marx adopted none of Stirner’s views, McLellan argues that Stirner’s criticisms of Feuerbach did play some role in Marx’s final rejection of Feuerbach, the one Young Hegelian whose influence Marx acknowledged.23 Commentators have often linked Stirner with Nietzsche in respect of both style and content, though there is no evidence that Nietzsche ever read him. During this century Stirner has had a strong influence upon many of those of the non-Communist left and anarchists. Two writers who have attested to his influence upon their work are Herbert Read and Albert Camus.24 On the darker side, Stirner has not been without an influence on Fascist thought. Stirner’s work stands opposed to the abstractions of thought and the tendency to systematization found in Hegel and the Young Hegelians. It is also a plea for the totally unconstrained freedom of the individual person. The short introductory section of his book, whose title “All Things Are Nothing To Me” is a quotation from Goethe, ends with the claim: The divine is God’s concern; the human, man’s. My concern is neither the divine nor the human, not the true, good, just, free, etc., but solely what is mine, and it is not a general one, but is unique, as I am unique. Nothing is more to me than myself!25 Since Stirner’s theme is the exaltation of the individual above any abstraction such as God, the state, the party, man or mankind, etc., he presents the main body of his book in two parts, the first called “Man,” the second “I”—the unique individual or ego. From the stance of the unique individual not only is all consideration of pure thought or Spirit to be expunged from philosophy but also all talk of man. Even Feuerbach, who believed that all talk of God is really talk of man and man’s essence, is still too abstract for Stirner and becomes the object of much criticism and even undergraduate ridicule. For example, in a section of his book entitled “The Spook” Stirner says: “To know and acknowledge essences alone and nothing but essences, that is religion; its realm is a realm of essences, spooks, and ghosts.”26 Elsewhere he adds: “Man is the last evil spirit or spook…the father of lies.”27 Continuing his criticism, Stirner inverts the entire thrust of Hegelian philosophy when he says: Feuerbach…is always harping upon being. In this he too, with all his antagonism to Hegel and the absolute philosophy, is stuck fast in abstraction; for “being” is abstraction, as is even “the I”. Only I am not abstraction alone: I am all in all, consequently even abstraction or nothing; I am all and nothing; I am not a mere thought, but at the same time I am full of thoughts, a thought-world. Hegel condemns the own, mine—“opinion”. “Absolute thinking” is that which forgets that it is my thinking, that I think, and that it exists only through me.28 Stirner replaces fantastic Hegelian abstractions with almost common-sense banalities about what is the proper subject of thought, viz., the person. As Stirner implores us to realize when reading Hegelian philosophy: “Man, your head is haunted; you have wheels in your head!”29 This kind of criticism of Hegel, which Stirner could have found in the earlier work of Feuerbach (and, under Feuerbach’s influence, is to be found in Marx’s unpublished critique of Hegel), would have a sympathetic response from more nominalistically inclined twen-tieth-century analytic philosophers. Even Stirner’s Berlin associates of Die Freien are not spared when he criticizes various forms of society in a section called “The Free.” He attacks the political liberalism of the bourgeoisie, the social liberalism of the Communists, and the humane liberalism of Bruno Bauer, all of whom had their representatives in the Berlin circles in which Stirner moved. In particular Stirner picks out some features of social (or Communist— Stirner did not distinguish) liberalism that have become all too evident in twentieth-century Communist states. He is deeply suspicious of “the Sunday side” of communism in which each man views the other as brother while masking an illiberal “workday side” in which men are merely laborers. He alleges that for communism it is of our essence to labor (strictly not Marx’s view). Further he argues that under communism (as well as other forms of state) our labor takes place under the domination of the all-encompassing state with its regulation of life. From this Stirner draws the conclusion that under communism there will appear a new form of tyranny to dominate the individual: “Society, from which we have everything, is a new master, a new spook, a new ‘supreme being’, which ‘takes us into its service and allegiance’!”30 As he adds later: “Communism rightly revolts against the pressure that I experience from individual proprietors; but still more horrible is the might that it puts in the hand of the collectivity.”31 In the second section, “I,” Stirner explores his doctrine of the unique individual. What is left of the individual once he or she is liberated from the snares of philosophy, religion, culture, family, morality, the various forms of liberalism, the state, any political party, property—even love, equality, and human rights? Concerning the last of these Stirner says: “Right—is a wheel in the head, put there by a spook; power—that am I myself, I am the powerful one and the owner of power.”32 Here the obscure and somewhat sinister side of Stirner’s thought appears with its Nietzschean appeal to the power each individual possesses, its exercise, and the egoistic individual so created. He ends his book with a peroration to the power of the self-creating individual: I am owner of my might, and I am so when I know myself as unique. In the unique one the owner himself returns into his creative nothing, of which he is born. Every higher essence above me, be it God, be it man, weakens the feeling of my uniqueness, and pales only before the sun of this consciousness. If I concern myself for myself, the unique one, then my concern rests on its transitory, mortal creator, who consumes himself, and I may say: All things are nothing to me.33 In speaking of the property that the unique individual owns (viz., his or her own self-creative power), it is as if Stirner never got beyond the opening passages of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, summed up in, for example, § 47. There Hegel talks about the right of property which each has in their own person, i.e. in their body, and the will they exercise through their body. The ego and what it owns are both the beginning and end of Stirner’s anarchistic political theory. Even in his discussion of love Stirner adopts a completely egoistic position. Though he claims to love every other person he does so egoistically: “I love them because love makes me happy.”34 For an extreme individual egoist such as Stirner all forms of the state are to be resisted— the state, too, is a spook. However, he does feel the need to speak of an association or union of egoists; but it is hard to see what such a union is like for an extreme egoist. We are told: “it is not another State (such as a ‘people’s State’) that men aim at, but their union, uniting, this ever-fluid uniting of everything standing.”35 Elsewhere he paints a bleak picture of what this ever-fluid union of egoists might be like: For me no one person is to be respected…but [each is] an object in which I take an interest or else do not…. And if I can use him, I doubtless come to an understanding and make myself at one with him, in order, by the agreement, to strengthen my power, and by combined force to accomplish more than individual force could effect. In this combination I see nothing whatever but a multiplication of my force, and I retain it only so long as it is my multiplied force. But thus it is a—union.36 Stirner may have raised some important critical points concerning Hegel and his fellow Young Hegelians and to have alerted us to the dangers in appeals to unanalysed abstractions such as “man” and “the state.” However, he often bases his own positive theory of the freedom of the individual on a false inference from the need to be free of this and that particular thing (e.g. a political party, or the family, etc.) to the need to be free from everything. By combining the idea of absolute freedom from everything with the idea of the power that the individual can egoistically exert in making itself, Stirner is led to rather unsavory views about the kind of relationships people can have. Belatedly, Stirner recognizes the need for some association of egoists; but his theory of the union does not get beyond the Hobbesian state of nature. In the end he espouses views characteristic of twentieth-century right-wing and Fascistic movements: My intercourse with the world, what does it aim at? I want to have the enjoyment of it, therefore it must be my property, and therefore I want to win it. I do not want the liberty of men, nor their equality; I want only my power over them, I want to make them my property, material for enjoyment.37 No wonder a recent editor of an abridged version of Stirner’s book thought it appropriate to include it in a general series with the title “Roots of the Right.” Even Mussolini wrote: “Leave the way free for the elemental power of the individual; for there is no other human reality than the individual! Why shouldn’t Stirner become significant again?”38 Marx and Stirner have, at a certain level, common themes; Stirner’s graphic account of alienated labor is paralleled by Marx’s own account of alienation given at the same time in his unpublished Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. However, at a deeper theoretical level of the relationship between the individual and society Marx and Stirner are poles apart. For Stirner the states of mind of, and the powers exerted by, the egoistic individual are sui generis and are not to be further explained. In contrast, for Marx, as he developed his materialist view of history, the states of mind to which Stirner appeals are falsely treated as ultimate and are themselves things which stand in need of explanation. As Marx first said in The German Ideology: “It is not consciousness that determines life, but life that determines consciousness,”39 where “life” is to be understood as people “developing their material production and their material intercourse” (MECW, 5:37). In particular Marx complains: Stirner regards the various stages of life only as “self-discoveries” of the individual, and these “self-discoveries” are moreover always reduced to a definite relation of consciousness. Thus the variety of consciousness is here the life of the individual. The physical and social changes which take place in individuals and produce an altered consciousness are, of course, of no conern to Stirner. In Stirner’s work, therefore, child, youth and man always find the world ready-made, just as they merely “find” “themselves”…. But even the relation of consciousness is not correctly understood either, but only in its speculative distortion. (ibid.: 128) Stirner’s egoistic individual cannot merely be a person cultivating their unconditioned power unrelated to any circumstances whatever: “[Stirner] quite consistently abstracts from historical epochs, nationalities, classes, etc., [and] he inflates the consciousness predominant in the class nearest to him in his immediate environment into the normal consciousness of ‘a man’s life’ ” (ibid.: 129). Thus the unique I does not well up out of itself from nothing, as Stirner claims, but, according to Marx, is the product of circumstances to which the I remains blind.40 The only Young Hegelian to have exerted an influence on Marx was Ludwig Feuerbach. The nature and extent of Marx’s relationship to the work of Hegel and the Young Hegelians have only been able to be fully assessed since the 1930s when the MEGA edition (1927–32) made available all of Marx’s and Engels’s early writings (i.e. before 1848). Before the 1930s the full range of Marx’s thought on Hegel and the Young Hegelians and the extent of Feuerbach’s influence were not known. Marx says in his 1859 Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy that in 1845 he and Engels had decided to set forth together our conception as opposed to the ideological one of German Philosophy, in fact to settle accounts with our former philosophical conscience. The intention was carried out in the form of a critique of post-Hegelian philosophy. The manuscript, two large octavo volumes, had long ago reached the publishers in Westphalia when we were informed that owing to changed circumstances it could not be printed. We abandoned the manuscript to the gnawing criticism of the mice all the more willingly since we had achieved our main purpose—self-clarification. (MECW, 29:264) This manuscript, first published in full in 1932, is now known as The German Ideology.41 The manuscript left to the mice was in Engels’s hands again in 1886 when he leafed through it in the course of writing a review of a book on Ludwig Feuerbach. The review reappeared in 1888 as a separate pamphlet entitled Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy. In the Preface, Engels tells us that he had undertaken the earlier review willingly, since “a full acknowledgement of the influence which Feuerbach, more than any other post-Hegelian philosopher, had upon us during our Sturm und Drang period, appeared to me to be an undischarged debt of honour” (MECW, 26:520). In the first section of this work Engels treats us to his own brief version of the history of the development of German philosophy from Hegel until the 1848 revolutions. The crucial turning point for Hegelian philosophy was, according to Engels, the publication of Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity in 1841: The spell was broken; the “system” [i.e. Hegel’s] was exploded and cast aside, and the contradiction [between the Idea and nature], shown to exist only in our imagination, was dissolved. One must have experienced the liberating effect of this book for oneself to get an idea of it. Enthusiasm was universal: we were all Feuerbacheans for a moment. How enthusiastically Marx greeted the new conception and how much—in spite of all critical reservations—he was influenced by it, one may read in The Holy Family. (MECW, 26:364) Engels’s claim in the last sentence is at variance with the facts, as McLellan points out.42 In The Holy Family Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity is not mentioned, as a glance at the index will show. However the index lists two other works by Feuerbach published in 1843 that are arguably an equal or more important influence on Marx, viz., Provisional Theses for the Reformation of Philosophy and Principles of the Philosophy of the Future. Engels’s 1888 pamphlet is important in another respect. In the Preface he also tells us that “in an old notebook of Marx’s I have found the eleven theses on Feuerbach, printed here as an appendix. These are notes hurriedly scribbled down for later elaboration, absolutely not intended for publication” (MECW, 26:520). These, now known as the Theses on Feuerbach, along with The German Ideology, contain Marx’s own critical evaluation of Feuerbach. Marx had been aware of the work of Feuerbach from the time he wrote his dissertation (1840–1). At the beginning of 1842 he said in an article, comparing Feuerbach with Strauss, that “there is no other road for you to truth and freedom except that leading through the stream of fire [the Feuer-bach]. Feuerbach is the purgatory of the present times.”43 The significance of Feuerbach’s work as a tool for the criticism of Hegel became apparent to Marx with the publication of Feuerbach’s two 1843 works in which a program is set out for the future development of philosophy once Hegel’s speculative philosophy had been abandoned. However, Marx was aware of one important limitation of these works. He wrote to Ruge on 13 March 1843 concerning the Provisional Theses: “Feuerbach’s aphorisms seem to me incorrect in only one respect, that he refers too much to nature and too little to politics. That, however, is the only alliance by which present-day philosophy can become truth” (MECW, 1:400). In the unpublished Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 Marx has only praise for the “theoretical revolution” that Feuerbach had wrought. The other Young Hegelians, especially Strauss and Bauer, are singled out for failing to appreciate that these two works have “in principle overthrown the old dialectic and philosophy.” For Marx, “Feuerbach is the only one who has a serious, critical attitude to the Hegelian dialectic and who has made genuine discoveries in this field. He is in fact the true conqueror of the old philosophy.”44 It is only in subsequent, unpublished work that one can find Marx’s criticisms of Feuerbach. Feuerbach, who had met Hegel and attended some of his lectures, devoted much of his philosophical career to the study of religion. He gained notice with the publication of Thoughts concerning Death and Immortality (1830) in which he argued that there was no personal immortality and no transcendent God but, instead, only the immortality and transcendence of the human spirit. The reception of his book ended any hopes that he may have held for a permanent university position. With the publication of Toward a Critique of Hegelian Philosophy (1839)45 Feuerbach became firmly identified with the Young Hegelians. This work is an attack on several major themes in Hegel’s logic and metaphysics, particularly his idealism. Among the many points concerning Hegelian philosophy that Feuerbach takes up in the Critique are the following, (a) In contrast to the idea that Hegelian philosophy is absolute because it is presuppositionless, he argues that, like all other philosophy, it too has its hidden presuppositions, (b) In contrast to Hegel’s abstract notion of thought he claims that all thought involves interpersonal dialogue and that language itself is “the realization of the species.” (c) Philosophy is bound up with communication and language and is not to be, as in Hegel, imprisoned and compressed into a system, (d) Even though Hegelian philosophy employs a critical method it fails to notice what Feuerbach calls the “genetico-critical philosophy” in which the causal origins of thought and ideas are traced, (e) Common Hegelian errors are to be rectified by turning the Hegelian subject into a predicate and, conversely, the predicate into a subject. This is the first statement of Feuerbach’s famous inversion principle that so attracted Marx, (f) The Absolute is “a vague and meaningless predicate” and Hegelian philosophy is “rational mysticism.” (g) Hegel’s opposition of Being and Nothing is to be rejected (though Feuerbach’s own arguments concerning Nothing sometimes fall into logical error). The work which propelled Feuerbach into fame as the leading Young Hegelian was the publication in 1841 of The Essence of Christianity. The enthusiasm with which this work was greeted ranged from Engels’s remark that “we were all Feuerbacheans for a moment” to Richard Wagner’s claim that he “always regarded Feuerbach as the ideal exponent of the radical release of the individual from the thraldom of accepted notions.”46 While the body of the book illustrates how the genetico-critical method is applied to the analysis of religious belief, the Preface to the second edition tells us more about the manner in which Feuerbach’s method differs from the approach of Hegel. Importantly Feuerbach views himself as “a natural philosopher in the domain of the mind” in applying his genetico-critical method not only to religious belief but to other sons of belief as well. The genetico-critical method is not to be understood in the Humean manner in which epistemological justifications of our beliefs (i.e. thoughts) are to be sought by logically basing them in our impressions of experience. The method that Feuerbach employs has its roots more in the continental tradition of the interpretation of Locke. It is genetic in that it traces the causal origin of our beliefs back to their source in experience (but not in the sense of providing an epistemic justification by means of experience). It is critical in that it uncovers what is the real cause, as opposed to the commonly believed but false cause, of some of our beliefs. If a belief cannot be epistemically justified, the Humean response is to reject it as epistemically illegitimate; in contrast, such illegitimate beliefs are of prime concern for the genetico-critical method. It is in this sense that Feuerbach sees himself as “a natural philosopher of the mind” investigating even the residue of our epistemically illegitimate beliefs. Feuerbach speaks in this context of the geneticocritical method being mainly concerned with “secondary” causes, citing as an example the theological view that comets are the work of God and contrasting this with the astronomer’s or the natural philosophical view of their cause.47 This example suggests that what we commonly take to be the cause of a phenomenon might be quite wrong and that there is some other “secondary” cause of the phenomenon which scientific investigation would reveal. It is Feuerbach’s view that when it comes to the phenomenon of belief, particularly religious belief, we can be quite mistaken about what is the proper (i.e. secondary) cause of particular beliefs. For Feuerbach religion provides a particularly fertile field for beliefs which have a causal origin in something quite distinct from their putative object. On Feuerbach’s analysis, beliefs about God do not have their causal origin in God but in something quite different, viz., our human nature. As Feuerbach might say, human nature, not God, is the correct “secondary” cause of our religious beliefs. Elsewhere Feuerbach talks of religious beliefs being reduced to beliefs about human essence and that God himself has been reduced to the essence of the human species. With hindsight the genetico-critical method can be viewed, in part, as an early exercise in the sociology of knowledge, or, much better, the sociology of belief, in which the origins of beliefs are traced to causes other than their putative objects. Feuerbach’s genetico-critical account of the source of our concept of God is at least as old as Xenophanes, who is reported to have said that if horses, cows, or lions could draw then they would draw their gods like horses, cows, or lions; i.e. we make our god(s) in our own image. For Feuerbach’s reductive program every predicate of God is in fact a predicate of the human essence. It is we who then project God as an independently existing object onto the world; at the same time we believe that God created us—thus inverting the true but hidden causal relation. In presenting his case for this inverted picture Feuerbach begins the first section of chapter 1 of The Essence of Christianity by describing the essential nature of man, i.e. those features which distinguish us essentially from other animals. We are told that the essence of man is such that each being “has consciousness in the strict sense”; such consciousness is “present only in a being to whom his species, his essential nature, is an object of thought.” Feuerbach even claims that science, which has to do with species or kinds rather than individuals, is only possible for beings who can be conscious of their own species, i.e. their essential nature. Feuerbach continues his account of our essence by saying that such consciousness is also consciousness of the infinite. By means of a rather muddled argument he tells us that this means that “the conscious subject has for his object the infinity of his own nature.” At best this cannot be the nature of the individual but of the species as a whole, though it does not strictly follow that even the species as a whole will necessarily have an infinite nature. In the course of this discussion Feuerbach introduces the notion of religion; this is, somewhat question-beggingly and without any accompanying argument, identified with our essence, i.e. “with the consciousness which man has of his nature.” When he comes to say what further properties our essential nature has it transpires that our essence is very Cartesian; the essential properties of the human species are reason, will, and affection. Thus our natures are such that we have the power to think, to act forcefully, and to love—and our power to do so as a species is allegedly infinite. Given that this is our essence, how does Feuerbach get from our essential nature to our concept of God? To ask this is to put the wrong question. Rather one must ask: given some feature alleged to be of God, how is this feature to be causally reduced, using the geneticocritical method, to features of our essence? To assist in this Feuerbach appeals to his inversion principle, adapted to suit the special case of God: “the object [God] of any subject [man] is nothing else than the subject’s own nature taken objectively.”48 That is, all the features we attribute to God, e.g. that God is loving, are nothing but features of our own nature—in this case the power we have of affection or love. We then project onto the world an independently existing object which has the power to love. From this Feuerbach concludes that our knowledge of God is nothing but knowledge of ourselves. However, he is careful to point out that the identity of God with man’s essence is not something evident to us, for “ignorance of it [the identity] is fundamental to the peculiar nature of religion.”49 This is in effect Feuerbach’s geneticocritical method applied to our beliefs about God. As Feuerbach himself later puts the matter, somewhat obscurely: Man—this is the mystery of religion—projects his being into objectivity, and then again makes himself an object to this projected image of himself thus converted into a subject; he thinks of himself is [sic] an object to himself, but as the object of an object, of another being than himself.50 At the end of Part I of his book Feuerbach does speak of his program in terms of reduction: “We have reduced the supermundane, supernatural, and superhuman nature of God to the elements of human nature as its fundamental elements.”51 Feuerbach’s attempt to be “a natural philosopher in the domain of the mind,” especially for our beliefs about God, is not without its problems— not least of which is the use of the inversion principle to get his reductive account of God launched. Related to this is the alleged identity of God with the human essence. To establish this, what Feuerbach needs to show first is that our concept of God does not hold of any external being. Descartes recognized more clearly than Feuerbach the need to show, by argument, that our idea of God is an idea of some external existent entity (though it is generally recognized that Descartes’s use of a version of the ontological argument does not prove this). Since Feuerbach is not fully aware of this Cartesian point he makes heavy weather in § 2 of chapter 1 of The Essence of Christianity of the question of whether God exists or not. Sometimes Feuerbach says that a God with features other than those of our human essence is not a God we would recognize, and so would not be a God for us. On other occasions he seems to suggest that where God lacks our human features then it follows that God does not exist, i.e. atheism is established. Nor is Feuerbach particularly clear about whether, in reducing God to our human essence, he has shown that God is identical to our human essence (somewhat in the style of Strauss) or that God does not exist and that he is a fantastic projection of ours upon the world. Often Feuerbach intends the latter, but sometimes his extreme atheism is tempered with the “divine humanism” of the former—this being the manner in which a number of contemporary theologians attempt to interpret Feuerbach. This is important because even if Feuerbach can show that our beliefs about God can be reduced to those about our human essence, it does not follow that there is no God. Whether or not God exists is left untouched by his genetico-critical method applied to religious concepts. Of course, for an already committed atheist the genetico-critical method might tell us something about why so much false religious belief still traffics its way through people’s minds. This point brings out the important difference between the Humean epistemic justification of a belief and the geneticocritical method for tracing the causal origin of a belief. The justification for God’s existence is quite independent of how people are caused to have the beliefs they do about God. Setting aside these difficulties in his account of God, Feuerbach provides a bold and innovative attempt to employ the genetico-critical method to the case of our religious concepts. As will be seen, Marx did not accept Feuerbach’s reductive account of religious belief; instead he put more emphasis on the functional role of our religious beliefs. But he did adapt the general reductive program, illustrated by Feuerbach’s analysis of religion, to the concepts Hegel employs in expounding his theory about the state. Feuerbach’s two works published after The Essence of Christianity in 1843 exerted an important influence on Marx; these were Provisional Theses for the Reformation of Philosophy and Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, the latter being a more thoroughgoing treatment of themes of the former. Both works are set out in paragraphs, sometimes quite lengthy, and contain criticisms of Hegelian speculative philosophy while outlining a program for an alternative philosophy. The first paragraph of the Provisional Theses says: The secret of theology is anthropology but the secret of speculative philosophy is theology, the speculative theology. Speculative theology distinguishes itself from ordinary theology by the fact that it transfers the divine essence into this world. That is, speculative theology envisions, determines, and realizes in this world the divine essence transported by ordinary theology out of fear and ignorance into another world.52 This summarizes the project of The Essence of Christianity—but with the additional comment that the projection of God into another world is due to our ignorance and fear. According to this thesis theology becomes part of anthropology, understood as the study of man and man’s essence; the reduction of ordinary theology to anthropology is the province of what Feuerbach calls “speculative theology.” Such a reductive’program also contains an important message for Hegelian speculative philosophy; it, too, can be reduced to anthropology: The method of the reformatory critique of speculative philosophy in general does not differ from the critique already applied in the philosophy of religion. We only need always make the predicate into the subject and thus, as the subject, into the object and principle. Hence we need only invert speculative philosophy and then have the unmasked pure, bare, truth.53 The inversion principle (as we have already called it), in which predicate and subject are interchanged, is not the most perspicuous of principles. Yet it is this principle, which some call Feuerbach’s “transformative method,” that most attracted Marx. It is unclear how the principle is to be applied in particular cases because what comprises the subject and predicate and the manner in which they are to be inverted are not always clear. Consider the following example of inversion given by Feuerbach in The Essence of Christianity: For, according to the principles which we have already developed, that which in religion is the predicate we must make the subject, and that which in religion is a subject we must make a predicate, thus inverting the oracles of religion; and by this means we arrive at the truth. God suffers—suffering is the predicate—but for men, for others, not for himself. What does that mean in plain speech? Nothing else than this: to suffer for others is divine; he who suffers for others, who lays down his life for them, acts divinely, is a God to men.54 It is obvious, contrary to what Feuerbach says, that “God suffers (for others)” does not mean the same as “whoever suffers for others is divine.” However, in a slightly strained sense the subject “God” of the first sentence has become the predicate “divine” of the second sentence. Also the predicate “suffers” of the first sentence might be construed as the subject of the second sentence; but we must understand the subject of the second sentence not as Feuerbach expresses it, viz., as people (who suffer for others), but as suffering (which is other-directed). Whichever way we take the inversion we lose all reference to God as a subject of discourse. Instead what we talk of is either people who suffer for others, i.e. sufferers (whose suffering is other-directed), or something slightly more abstract than individual people, viz., suffering, which is otherdirected. Feuerbach’s reduction of the first sentence to the second via the inversion principle could be resisted on the grounds of lack of meaning equivalence. However, for those not ontologically committed to God, the reduction given might be acceptable, despite the lack of meaning equivalence. Feuerbach’s procedure in this example is akin to those twentieth-century nominalists who eschew certain classes of abstract entity and who logically transform their discourse so that apparent references to undesirable abstracta are removed. While it would be out of place to see Feuerbach’s inversion principle as an anticipation of some of the reductive or nominalistic moves of Russell or Quine, his procedure in the above example would not meet with their disapproval. We could without too much strain call Feuerbach’s inversion a “nominalistic reduction” in that it relieves us of higher levels of abstract entity in favor of lower-level, more nominalistically acceptable items. With this example of the inversion principle in mind, now consider the following two theses: The essence of theology is the transcendent essence of the human being, placed outside human beings. The essence of Hegel’s Logic is transcendent thinking, the thinking of the human being supposed outside human beings.55 “To abstract” means to suppose the essence of nature outside nature, the essence of the human being outside the human being, the essence of thinking outside the act of thinking. In that its entire system rests upon these acts of abstraction, Hegelian philosophy has estranged the human being from its very self.56 We have seen already how the inversion principle might work in the case of religious claims about God. It is also supposed to work in the case of thought and thinking; the apparent postulation of thought as a subject of predications becomes, by the inversion principle, a predicate, thinking, of other subjects, viz., people (who think) or thinkers. The reverse of the inversion principle is the process of abstraction, viz., the postulation of thought as a subject in its own right with an existence independent of people who think. Feuerbach applies his inversion in detail only to religious beliefs but sketches ways in which it might be applied to Hegel’s Logic. Toward the end of the Provisional Theses he suggests that the inversion principle can also be applied in political philosophy: All speculation about right, willing, freedom, personality without the human being, i.e. outside of or even beyond the human being, is speculation without unity, without necessity, without substance, without foundation, and without reality. The human being is the existence of freedom, the existence of personality, the existence of right.57 Feuerbach’s programmatic claim that the inversion principle can be used to analyze Hegelian political philosophy attracted Marx when he read the Provisional Theses. Though Marx had been studying Hegel’s Philosophy of Right before this, the Provisional Theses gave him a new critical tool with which to approach it. He also took to heart, as will be seen, the message of another thesis: “The beginning of philosophy is not God and the beginning of the absolute is not the absolute, not being as a predicate of the idea. The beginning of philosophy is the finite, the determined, the actual.”58 It is impossible to deal adequately here with Marx’s detailed paragraphby- paragraph critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right found in his Feuerbach-inspired Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right”.59 Instead a few examples must suffice. Marx’s surviving manuscript begins with § 262 of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: The actual Idea is mind, which, sundering itself into the two ideal spheres of its concept, family and civil society, enters upon its final phase, but it does so only in order to rise above its ideality and become explicit as infinite actual mind. It is therefore to these ideal spheres that the actual Idea assigns the material of this its finite actuality, viz., human beings as a mass, in such a way that the function assigned to any given individual is visibly mediated by circumstances, his caprice and his personal choice of his station in life.60 Often Marx begins the criticism of a section from Hegel by translating it into ordinary prose, removing its stylistic peculiarities; this section is no exception. Marx notes that the actual Idea (mind as infinite and actual) is taken to be something, a subject, that has its own powers to evolve toward a determinate end; moreover it sunders itself into “two ideal spheres,” viz., family and civil society. The Idea, which is distinct from family and civil society, makes these into dependent existences; they are finite determinations of the Idea which arise from the Idea’s own processes. This Marx condemns as “logical, pantheistic mysticism.” Both following Feuerbach’s directive to begin with the “finite and determined” rather than the Absolute, and using the inversion principle, Marx begins instead with the mass of human beings. It is they who make up families and civil society and these in turn are modes of existence of the state: “family and civil society make themselves into a state. They are the active force.”61 Speculative Hegelian philosophy treats this wrongly as an achievement of the Idea-subject, its aim being to “become explicit as infinite actual mind.” According to Marx: “The entire mystery of the Philosophy of Right and of Hegelian philosophy in general is contained in these paragraphs.”62 Marx demystifies § 262 when he rewrites it as: “The family and civil society are elements of the state. The material of the state is divided amongst them through circumstances, caprice, and personal choice of vocation. The citizens of the state are members of families and of civil society.”63 It is hard to see in Marx’s demystified rendering of Hegel’s § 262 the precise application of the inversion principle. The Idea as a selfacting subject does not reappear as a predicate. It has disappeared and in its place are new subjects, viz., the masses of people, the family, civil society; they make up the state and, as Marx says, “are the active force.” Rather it seems more accurate to view Marx’s alleged use of the inversion principle in this case as a reductive nominalizing move in which mystifying abstracta, such as the actual Idea with its powers, are replaced by more concrete talk of the mass of people, the family, civil society, and their powers. The last item, civil society, may itself be somewhat abstract but it is not as obnoxiously so as the actual Idea. How does Marx’s desire to rid social theory of abstracta affect his own social ontology? As is well known, the ontology of Marx’s later historical materialism, first set out in The German Ideology, came to include not abstracta of the sort just mentioned but relational items such as relations of production, and, in some cases, forces of production. The postulation of such relational items in no way counts against Marx’s reductive nominalism when used as a critical tool to demystify Hegel’s theory which is populated by obscure abstract entities (or as Stirner would say, by spooks). Sometimes Marx does not employ the inversion principle in his criticisms of Hegel. Thus he complains, in commenting on § 278, that where Hegel says “The sovereignty of the state is the monarch” the common man would say “The monarch has the sovereign power, or sovereignty.” This is a straightforward nominalizing move in which the definite description of the first sentence is eliminated in the less mystifying second sentence said by the common man, thereby making it quite clear where the power lies. However, elsewhere in his lengthy comments on § 278 Marx quite explicitly formulates the inversion principle several times in the course of developing his criticism of Hegel on sovereignty. Thus he cavils at Hegel’s reification of sovereignty when he says: Accordingly, sovereignty, the essence of the state, is here first conceived to be an independent being; it is objectified. Then, of course, this object must again become subject. However the subject then appears to be a self-incarnation of sovereignty, which is nothing but the objectified spirit of the state’s subjects.64 And so on for other Hegelian reifications, for example, concerning patriotism or the constitution, that Marx ferrets out of The Philosophy of Right. Marx has criticisms to make of Hegel’s political philosophy that do not depend on Feuerbach’s inversion principle; but its application does relieve one from much that is mind-numbing in Hegel’s theory. As a number of commentators have pointed out,65 the nominalizing moves leave untouched the empirical content of Hegel’s claims. This is obviously the case in the above transformation of what Hegel says about sovereignty into what the common man would say. Even though Marx elsewhere makes empirical objections to Hegel’s theory (e.g. about the function of primogeniture), the inversion principle, in leaving untouched empirical matters, exposes only the pseudo-profundity of Hegel’s mystifying presentation of these empirical matters. As Feuerbach put it in another thesis: To have articulated what is such as it is, in other words, to have truthfully articulated what truly is, appears superficial. To have articulated what is such as it is not, in other words, to have falsely and distortedly articulated what truly is, appears profound.66 Often Marx and Engels assume in criticizing Hegelian speculative philosophy that they are entitled to drop the epithet “Hegelian speculative” and conclude that all philosophy-is similarly flawed. However, all they have shown is that one kind of philosophy, Hegel’s, is defective. Marx’s reductive nominalizing moves are of a piece with much of the logical critique of language developed in twentieth-century analytic philosophy. Aspects of Feuerbachian, and even Hegelian, influence can be found in another work that Marx left incomplete and so unpublished in his lifetime, now known as the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. This is Marx’s most humanistic work, particularly in its exploration of the notion of alienation. But within a year Marx explicitly rejected much of Feuerbach’s philosophy, including his account of human essence, his critical analysis of religion, and his version of materialism. In The German Ideology (1845–6) Marx became impatient with all attempts to define the essential properties of human beings in terms of consciousness and its forms. Without referring directly to Feuerbach he says: Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion or anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence, a step which is conditioned by their physical organization. (MECW, 5:31) But this is not adequate because it leaves out the possibility of humans living in hunter-gatherer societies in which there is no production of means of subsistence. Nor does it take into account the possibility of either biological attempts to specify the human essence, or biochemical attempts in terms of our DNA structure. Marx did not entirely abandon all talk of necessary features of humanity even in Capital: So far therefore as labour is a creator of use-value, is useful labour, it is a necessary condition, independent of all forms of society, for the existence of the human race; it is an eternal nature-imposed necessity, without which there can be no material exchanges between man and Nature, and therefore no life.67 In the first sentence Marx speaks only of labor as a necessary condition for our existence, and not as our essence. However, in the second sentence he seems to make a much stronger claim when he talks of labor as “an eternal nature-imposed necessity” upon human beings. But all this means is that, given the way the actual world is, we humans must always labor if we wish to exist. Perhaps there are possible worlds in which nature itself is so bountiful that it produces all that would be needed for human existence without any labor on our part. If so, and if we take an essential property of a species to be one without which the species cannot exist, then labor is not an essential property of the human species; rather it is a necessary condition of our existence given that in the actual world we must work in order to live. Thus in the absence of a different theory of essence in Marx (and in Feuerbach) the above quotation does not entail that labor is an essential feature of human beings. Marx makes no mention in the above quotation of consciousness. But elsewhere in Capital he does appeal to consciousness as that which differentiates us from the animals. In discussing “the labour process independently of the particular form it assumes under given social conditions” he says, when comparing human labor with spiders as makers of webs or bees as makers of cells: “But what distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he erects it in reality.”68 However, not every laborer raises the product of their labor in their imagination before they make it. This point aside, Marx claims that what distinguishes humans from animals is imagination—a form of consciousness. Even though the kind of consciousness that Marx appeals to is different from the consciousness Feuerbach alleges is our human essence, their claims have this much in common: there exists an essential feature which differentiates humans from the animals. The above becomes significant when we consider the sixth and seventh of the Theses on Feuerbach (1845): (6) Feuerbach resolves the essence of religion into the essence of man. But the essence of man is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of the social relations. Feuerbach, who did not enter upon a criticism of this real essence, is hence obliged: 1 To abstract from the historical process and to define the religious sentiment by itself, and to presuppose an abstract—isolated—human individual. 2 Essence, therefore, can be regarded only as “species”, as an inner, mute, general character which unites the many individuals in a natural way. (7) Feuerbach, consequently, does not see that the “religious sentiment” is itself a social product, and that the abstract individual which he analyses belongs to a particular form of society (MECW, 5:4–5) Thesis (6) begins with a pithy summary of Feuerbach’s view of religion, but then challenges it by denying that there is any Feuerbachean essence and, more strongly, that there is a human essence at all. For Marx there is nothing intrinsic to each person, or to humanity as a whole, which is their individual or species essence. Rather, if Marx is going to admit talk of essences at all, then the “essence” of each person will arise from something external to each. According to Thesis (6) each member of the human species exists in some specifie ensemble of social relations, different ensembles of social relations existing at any one time and over time. Individual humans, among other things, are the relata, the items that stand in the relations in the ensemble. Moreover the items related do not retain their important characteristics from one ensemble of relations to another since the ensemble plays an important role in “shaping” the characteristics of the items in the relata. Both the relata and the ensemble of relations must be taken together and cannot be easily separated out into relata and relations. That is, the relations are, in some sense, intrinsic to the relata and not extrinsic. (This raises a problem about the extent to which the relata and the ensemble of relations affect one another, which Marx attempts to address in Thesis (3); it will not be discussed here.)69 The views Marx expresses in Thesis (6) are of a piece with the remark already cited from The German Ideology: “It is not consciousness that determines life, but life that determines consciousness.” It follows that the forms of consciousness that people have are “determined” by the ensemble of social relations of which they are the relata, and the forms of consciousness change with change in the ensemble. Thus on Marx’s view there can be no common forms of consciousness to which Feuerbach can appeal as the essence of humankind across all the ensembles of relations in which humans can exist—especially emotional features such as suffering for others which Feuerbach mentions. This is not the place to assess this central claim of Marx’s materialist view of history; but it does highlight the reasons why Marx rejects essentialist views of human nature. The two theses are also important for the light they cast on Marx’s view of religion. For Feuerbach the reductive base of religion is the human essence. In contrast there is no such universal reductive base for Marx; so he must reject Feuerbach’s genetico-critical analysis of religion. Since the ensemble of relations, i.e. society, is alleged by Marx to determine consciousness, the very features of human beings that Feuerbach alleges to be our human essence, i.e. our forms of consciousness, are not sui generis and stand in need of explanation. In effect Marx shifts the reductive base from human essence to the ensemble of relations, i.e. society as a whole. Marx expresses just this in his “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right’: introduction”: “This state, this society, produce religion, an inverted world-consciousness” (MECW, 3:175). This is, in part, Feuerbach inspired; however, it is in the society that “produces” religion, not our human essence. A little further on Marx talks of religion as “the opium of the people” and of the abolition of religion as “the demand to give up illusions about the existing state of affairs” which in turn is “the demand to give up a state of affairs which needs illusions.” It is now commonplace to look for functional explanations of the role of religious belief in the overall fabric of society. For example, the function of religion might be to provide an illusion, e.g. religious consolation or the postulation of a better afterlife, for a state of affairs that needs an illusion, in this case the suffering that people experience as a result of poverty or war. Or religion might have, as Marx suggests in The German Ideology, the function of maintaining a form of the division of labor in a given society: When the crude form of the division of labour which is to be found among the Indians and the Egyptians calls forth the caste-system in their state and religion, the historian believes that the caste-system is the power which has produced this crude form. (MECW, 5:55) It is a long-standing issue of interpretation to reconcile Marx’s claim here that, on the one hand, the state of society “produces” or “calls forth” religion, and, on the other, the claim he makes elsewhere that religion (e.g. the religious caste system) can help maintain the state and its relations of production (in this case the division of labor represented in the caste system). Cohen has argued that the tension between “producing” and “maintaining” can be resolved by adopting a functional account of the explanation that social factors can give of religious belief 70 If this is the case then Marx’s functional explanation of religious belief is quite distinct from Feuerbach’s account of religion; however, both still hold that religion is a form of illusion. Marx also rejects Feuerbach’s version of materialism. Feuerbach provides an explicit, though muddled, statement of his empiricist materialism in his Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, § 32: “The real in its reality or taken as real is the real as an object of the senses; it is sensuous. Truth, reality, and sensation are identical. Only a sensuous being is a true real being.”71 Crudely put, this asserts that something is real if and only if it can be sensed (by us humans). When it comes to the theory of perception Marx understands Feuerbach to hold the simple tabula rasa view in which the mind is a passive receptacle for sense impressions produced by objects and by our feelings. Marx criticizes this, along with other “old” versions of materialism in contrast to his “new” version of materialism, in the first of the Theses on Feuerbach: The chief defect of all previous materialism (that of Feuerbach included) is that things, reality, sensuousness are conceived only in the form of the object, or of contemplation, but not as sensuous human activity, practice, not subjectively. Hence, in contradistinction to materialism, the active side was set forth abstractly by idealism— which, of course, does not know real, sensuous activity as such. Feuerbach wants sensuous objects, really distinct from conceptual objects, but he does not conceive human activity itself as objective activity. In The Essence of Christianity, he therefore regards the theoretical attitude as the only genuine human attitude, while practice is conceived and defined only in its dirty-Jewish form of appearance. Hence he does not grasp the significance of “revolutionary”, of “practical-critical”, activity. (MECW, 5:3) Much critical ink has been spilt on this thesis.72 For our purposes we need note only the following. In the second sentence Marx appeals to “idealist” theories of knowledge, such as those advocated by German Idealist philosophy from the time of Kant, in which the knower makes an active contribution to perceptual knowledge; the knower actively synthesizes what the senses passively present to him or her in order that the knower can have knowledge of empirically given objects such as chairs or the moon. In this sense Feuerbach is out of step with the idealist tradition concerning ordinary perceptual knowledge in omitting reference to this activist side of idealist epistemology. But Marx also adds that both Feuerbach and the idealist tradition miss an important aspect of the way in which human activity “constructs” the objects of which we are sensuously aware; this is a central feature of his materialist view of history. In a section of The German Ideology (for which editors of this work usually provide a heading such as “Feuerbach’s Contemplative and Inconsistent Materialism”), Marx criticizes Feuerbach for having too “contemplative” or too passive a view of our relationship with the objects that exist in the world. The plain fact, claims Marx, is that even the ordinary chairs and tables commonly appealed to as objects of perception by the epistemologist are human creations. Most of the world in which we live is a human-created world; it is our industry over thousands of years that has produced most of the objects which surround us. Even the common cherry tree is a product of human husbandry, a result of “human activity” or “practical-critical activity” as Marx puts it in Thesis (I). Science is also an important part of this practical-critical activity transforming even more thoroughly and rapidly the world in which we live. This does not mean that there is no external world: “Of course, in all this the priority of external nature is unassailed” (MECW, 5:40); but, adds Marx, perhaps only a few Australian coral islands are untouched by human activity. It is the mannature interaction, emphasized throughout all of Marx’s subsequent writings, that has produced our everyday world. It is this that the old materialists and Feuerbach omit totally and that the idealists treat in a one-sided manner by ignoring objective human activity in producing the world in which we live. In summary Marx says: “As far as Feuerbach is a materialist he does not deal with history, and as far as he considers history he is not a materialist” (ibid.: 41). As important as Marx’s point is, it fails to address the traditional philosophical problem about the perception of ordinary objects, even if they are human-made chairs. The traditional epistemological problem was of little interest to Marx. Instead he was interested in our practical interaction with the world, how it “revolutionizes” the world and how this is reflected in our discourse about the world. (This is a reorientation of the traditional epistemological problem taken up in some respects by the later Wittgenstein.) The last two sentences of Thesis (1) emphasize this, but in a curious way. The reference to Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity takes us to Chapter 14 of that work in which a contrast is made between “the Greeks [who] looked at nature with the theoretic sense” and the Israelites who “opened to Nature only the gastric sense.” In support of this Feuerbach quotes the Bible passage in which it is said that after Moses and the seventy elders ascended the mountain “they saw God; and when they had seen God they ate and drank.” Since the sight of God excites in the Jews the appetite for food, Feuerbach claims that the Jewish religion involves “the most practical principle in the world— namely egoism.”73 Later Feuerbach goes on to praise the theoretical attitude of the Greeks as joyful, happy, and aesthetic, while the practical attitude, exemplified by the Jews, is unaesthetic and “is not pure [schmutzig—dirty], it is tainted with egoism.”74 Thus Marx was not making an anti-Semitic remark75 in talking about practice in “its dirty- Jewish form”; rather he was having a dig at Feuerbach for failing to grasp that much of our relationship with the world is not theoretical but bound up in our practical activity, which may be “dirty” and in which egoism may play a part. Feuerbach’s contemplative epistemology omits any role for human practical activity. In contrast Marx’s materialistic view of history puts strong emphasis on the practical activity of humans as they labor to produce their means of existence, activity which Marx calls “revolutionary” in Thesis (I). In the final thesis of his Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, Feuerbach’s proposals for reform remain entirely within the realm of philosophy: So far, the attempts at philosophical reform have differed more or less from the old philosophy only in form, but not in substance. The indispensable condition of a really new philosophy, that is, an independent philosophy corresponding to the needs of mankind and of the future, is, however, that it will differentiate itself in its essence from the old philosophy.76 It is surely this passage that Marx has in mind when in the eleventh of his Theses on Fenerhach he rejects reform merely at the level of speculative philosophy and emphasizes not only human practical activity in transforming the world but also the revolutionary character of that activity: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”77 For Marx the Young Hegelians provided a range of theories, many still current, about the individual and society which rivaled his own developing theory of historical materialism. His criticisms of the Young Hegelians, though often buried in now irrelevant polemical points, provide a useful survey of the responses a socialist might make to these rival theories. By 1846 the views of Marx and Engels on history and politics had matured to the point where they could fully distance themselves from not only Hegelian political theory but also the theories of all of the Young Hegelians. Marx declared not only that “the decomposition of the Hegelian system, which began with Strauss, has turned into a universal ferment” but also that the Young Hegelian movement was a “philosophic charlatanry,” was “parochial” and “tragicomic” in its pretensions, and represented “the putrescence of the absolute spirit.”78 In his view the Young Hegelians had not comprehensively criticized Hegel’s system; they had merely played off one part against another. Moreover they had not fully given up religious conceptions of people and their circumstances. Thus their thought was confined to merely ideological accounts of people and their circumstances: Since the Young Hegelians consider conceptions, thoughts, ideas, in fact all the products of consciousness, to which they attribute an independent existence, as the real chains of men (just as the Old Hegelians declare them the true bonds of human society), it is evident that the Young Hegelians have to fight only against these illusions of consciousness. Since, according to their fantasy, the relations of men, all their doings, their fetters and their limitations are products of their consciousness, the Young Hegelians logically put to men the moral postulate of exchanging their present consciousness for human [Feuerbach], critical [Bauer], or egoistic [Stirner] consciousness and thus of removing their limitations. (MECW, 5:30) After this Marx continues in a manner not unrelated to his eleventh thesis on Feuerbach: “This demand to change consciousness amounts to a demand to interpret the existing world in a different way, i.e. to recognize it by means of a different interpretation.” We are now familiar with such radical changes in the way we understand the world through Kuhn’s talk of “paradigm shifts” or through recent French philosophy in which much is made of “epistemological breaks.” Marx had undergone a change in his understanding of the connections between human beings and society more radical than any of his contemporary Young Hegelians. The above harsh judgments concerning his contemporaries sprang from the selfclarification he had achieved in setting out for the first time the materialist conception of history as opposed to the ideological conception of history in which he believed Hegel and the Young Hegelians were hopelessly enmeshed. NOTES 1 D.Strauss, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, trans. G.Eliot (London: Swann Sonnenschein, 1906), p. 86. 2 Ibid., p. xxx; or L.S.Stepelevich (ed.), The Young Hegelians: An Anthology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 22. 3 See Strauss, op. cit., § 150, “The speculative Christology”; or Stepelevich, op. cit., pp. 44–6. 4 See D.Strauss, Streitschriften zttr Vertheidigung meiner Shrift über das Leben Jesu und zur Charakteristik der gegenwärtigen Theologie (Tübingen, 1837). 5 J.E.Toews, Hegelianism: The Path toward Dialectical Humanism, 1805–1841 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), pp. 203–4. 6 For further discussion of the division of Hegelians into Left, Center, Right, Young, and Old, see: Stepelevich, op. cit., “Introduction”; K.Löwith, From Hegel to Nietzsche: The Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Thought, trans.D.E.Green (London: Constable, 1965), pp. 53–71; Toews, op. cit., chs 6 and 7. 7 Löwith, op. cit., p. 54. 8 For an account of Strauss’s political activities, see W.J.Brazill, The Young Hegelians (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970), pp. 121–3. 9 Löwith, op. cit., pp. 70–1. A version of Hegel’s dictum occurs in the Preface to Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, trans. T.M.Knox (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952), p. 10 and n. 27. 10 A.Ruge, “Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right’ and the politics of our times” (1842), in Stepelevich, op. cit., p. 223. 11 Ibid., p. 225. 12 Ibid., p. 228. 13 Ibid., p. 230. 14 This material, which was untitled by Marx, is commonly, but not always, known in English as “Critique of Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right’.” It was published by D.Rjazanov in Vol. 1 of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels: HistorischKritisch Gesamtausgahe (Frankfurt/Main and Berlin, 1927–32); henceforth referred to as MEGA. See also Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Collected Works (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1975–), henceforth referred to as MECW, Vol. 3, “Contribution to the critique of Hegel’s philosophy of law,” pp. 3–129. The two Hegel critiques, the one Marx published and the drafts he left unfinished, are collected together, with a useful commentary, in Marx, Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right”, ed. J.O’Malley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 1970. 15 Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, op. cit., p. 11. 16 MECW: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Collected Works, op. cit.; citations are by volume and page number. 17 A few extracts from this work are available in English in Stepelevich, op. cit., pp. 177–86; the quotation is from p. 183. 18 B.Bauer, “The genus and the crowd,” in ibid., pp. 204–5. The German title of the work is “Die Gattung und die Masse”; the term “Gattung” was extensively used by Feuerbach and is often translated into English as “(human) species” rather than “genus.” 19 See Marx’s distinction between crude communism and other forms of communism in MECW, 3, pp. 294–7; see also S.Avineri, The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), pp. 220–39. 20 See MECW, 3, pp. 231–4, Preface, and the concluding section p. 327. 21 D.McLellan, The Young Hegelians and Karl Marx (London: Macmillan, 1969), p. 78. 22 See “Part III: Saint Max” of Marx and Engels, The German Ideology, MECW, 5, pp. 117–450. In contrast Marx devotes only pp. 27–93 to a critique of Feuerbach, the Young Hegelian generally held to have had some influence upon him. 23 McLellan, op. cit., pp. 129–36. 24 For an account of Stirner’s influence, see the Introduction by J.Carroll to his abridged edition of Max Stirner: The Ego and Its Own (London: Cape, 1971); this appeared in a series entitled Roots of the Right under the general editorship of G.Steiner. 25 M.Stirner, The Ego and his Own (1844), ed. J.Carroll, trans. S.T.Byington (London: Cape, 1971), p. 5. 26 Ibid., p. 40. 27 Ibid., p. 184. 28 Ibid., p. 339. 29 Ibid., p. 43. 30 Ibid., p. 123. 31 Ibid., p. 257. 32 Ibid., p. 210. 33 Ibid., p. 366. 34 Ibid., p. 291. 35 Ibid., p. 224. 36 Ibid., pp. 311–12. 37 Ibid., p. 318. 38 Quoted in Carroll, Introduction, op. cit., p. 14. 39 See MECW, 5, p. 37. The import of this central idea of Marx is obscure. I suggest one way in which it might be criticized toward the end of section II of R. Nola, “The strong programme for the sociology of knowledge, reflexivity and relativism,” Inquiry, 33 (1990): 273–96. 40 For a useful account of Marx on Stirner, see S.Hook, From Hegel to Marx: Studies in the Intellectual Development of Karl Marx (Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1962), ch. 5, part II. For an account more sympathetic to Stirner and critical of Marx, see E.Fleischmann, “The role of the individual in prerevolutionary society: Stirner, Marx and Hegel,” in Z.A.Pelczynski (ed.), Hegel’s Political Philosophy: Problems and Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971). 41 For a history of the manuscript and its publication, see MECW, 5, n. 7, pp. 586–8. 42 McLellan, op. cit., p. 93. 43 Marx, Writings of the Young Marx on Philosophy and Society, ed. L.D.Easton and K.H.Guddat (New York: Doubleday, 1967), p. 95. 44 For Marx’s praise, see Preface to Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, MECW, 3, pp. 232–3, and the final section, headed “Critique of the Hegelian dialectic and philosophy as a whole,” pp. 327–9. See also the letter which Marx wrote to Feuerbach on 11 August 1844, ibid., pp. 354–7. 45 M.W.Wartofsky, Feuerbach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), ch. VII, is an excellent account of this work; a translation can be found in Stepelevich, op. cit. 46 The remark of Wagner is cited in Brazill, op. cit., p. 137. 47 For a few brief comments by Feuerbach on his genetico-critical philosophy, see his Towards a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy, in Stepelevich, op. cit., pp. 121 and 127; see also the Introduction by E.Wartenberg to Feuerbach, Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, trans. M.Vogel (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1986), pp. xxiii-xxvii. 48 Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, trans. G.Eliot (New York: Harper Torchbook, 1957), p. 12. 49 Ibid., p. 13. 50 Ibid., pp. 29–30. 51 Ibid., p. 184. 52 Stepelevich, op. cit., p. 156. 53 Ibid., p. 157. 54 Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, op. cit., p. 60. 55 Stepelevich, op. cit., p. 158. 56 Ibid., p. 159. 57 Ibid., p. 170. 58 Ibid., p. 160. 59 See O’Malley’s editorial comments in Marx, Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right”, op. cit.; R.N.Berki, “Perspectives in the Marxian critique of Hegel’s political philosophy,” in Pelczynski, op. cit.; Avineri, op. cit.; L.Dupré, The Philosophical Foundations of Marxism (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966), ch. 4; and D.McLellan, Marx before Marxism (London: Macmillan, 1970), ch. 5: all of whom attempt to evaluate Marx’s own criticisms of Hegel. 60 Marx, Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right”, op. cit., p. 7. 61 Ibid., p. 8. 62 Ibid., p. 9. 63 Ibid., p. 8. 64 Ibid., p. 24. 65 For example, O’Malley in ibid., p. xxxiii. 66 Stepelevich, op. cit., p. 162. 67 Marx, Capital: Volume 1 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1973), p. 50. 68 Ibid., p. 174. 69 For a useful analysis of Marx’s Theses on Feuerbach, see W.A.Suchting, “Marx’s Theses on Feuerbach: a new translation and notes towards a commentary,” in J. Mepham and D.Ruben (eds), Issues in Marxist Philosophy, Vol. 2: Materialism (Brighton: Harvester, 1979); and W.A.Suchting, Marx and Philosophy: Three Studies (New York: New York State University Press, 1986), ch. 1; see also Hook, op. cit., ch. 8. 70 See G.A.Cohen, Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), chs VI, IX, and X, for his account of functional explanation in Marx’s historical materialism. 71 Feuerbach, Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, op. cit., p. 51. 72 For a useful commentary, see Suchting, “Marx’s Theses on Feuerbach…,” op. cit., and Marx and Philosophy: Three Studies, op. cit., chs 1 and 2. 73 Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, op. cit., p. 114, 74 Ibid., p. 196. 75 Some commentators—such as Hook, op. cit., p. 278 n. 2—miss Marx’s reference to Feuerbach writings in the penultimate sentence of Thesis (1). See Suchting, “Marx’s Theses on Feuerbach…,” op. cit., p. 11 and nn. 18 and 19, for a useful commentary on this sentence; the remarks in the text above have been adapted from Suchting. 76 Feuerbach, Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, op. cit. 77 Marx, “Theses on Feuerbach,” in Karl Marx: Selected Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy, ed. T.B.Bottomore and M.Rubel (London: C.A.Watts, 1956), p. 69. 78 These scathing comments come from the first few pages of The German Ideology, MECW, 5, pp. 27–8. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY Original language editions 9.1 Feuerbach, L. Ludwig Feuerbach: Sämtliche Werke, ed. W.Bolin and F.Jodl (additional volumes ed. H.-M. Sass), Stuttgart: Frommann, 1903–11. 9.2 Feuerbach, L. Gesammelte Werke, ed. W.Schuffenhauer, Berlin: Akademie- Verlag, 1967–. 9.3 Löwith, K. (ed.) Die Hegelische Linke, Stuttgart and Bad Cannstatt: Frommann, 1962. 9.4 Lübbe, H. (ed.) 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Capital, Vol. 1, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1973. 9.21 Marx, K. Karl Marx: Early Texts, ed. D.McLellan, Oxford: Blackwell, 1971. 9.22 Ruge, A. “Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right’ and the Politics of Our Times” (1842), in Stepelevich [9.22]. 9.23 Stepelevich, L.S. (ed.) The Young Hegelians: An Anthology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. 9.24 Stirner, M. The Ego and its Own (1844), trans. S.T. Byington in 1907, New York: Libertarian Book Club, 1963; ed. J.Carroll as The Ego and his Own, London: Cape, 1971. 9.25 Strauss, D. The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, trans. from the 4th German edn of 1840 by G.Eliot in 1860, London: Swann Sonnenschein, 1906. Bibliographies 9.26 Brazill, W.J. “Bibliographical Essay,” in Brazill [9.32]. 9.27 McLellan, D. “Select Bibliography,” in McLellan [9.37]. 9.28 Mah., H. “Bibliography,” in Mah [9.38]. 9.29 Stepelevich, L. (1983) “Young Hegelianism: A Bibliography of General Studies, 1930 to the Present,” in Stepelevich [9.22]; this also contains bibliographical material in the editor’s introduction preceding each selection. 9.30 Toews, J.E. “Bibliography” (up to 1840), in Toews [9.40]. General surveys 9.31 Berki, R.N. “Perspectives in the Marxian critique of Hegel’s political philosophy,” in Pelczynski [9.39]. 9.32 Brazill, W.J. The Young Hegelians, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970. 9.33 Crites, S.D. “Hegelianism,” in P.Edwards (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Vol. 3, New York: Macmillan and Free Press, 1967. 9.34 Fleischmann, E. “The role of the individual in pre-revolutionary society: Stirner, Marx and Hegel,” in Pelczynski [9.39]. 9.35 Hook, S. From Hegel to Marx: Studies in the Intellectual Development of Karl Marx, Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1962. 9.36 Löwith, K. From Hegel to Nietzsche: The Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Thought, trans. D.E.Green, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1964; London: Constable, 1965; Garden City: Doubleday, Anchor, 1967. 9.37 McLellan, D. The Young Hegelians and Karl Marx, London: Macmillan, 1969. 9.38 Mah, H. The End of Philosophy, the Origin of Ideology: Karl Marx and the Crisis of the Young Hegelians, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987. 9.39 Pelczynski, Z.A. (ed.) Hegel’s Political Philosophy: Problems and Perspectives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971. 9.40 Toews, J.E. Hegelianism: The Path toward Dialectical Humanism, 1805– 1841, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980. 9.41 Wartofsky, M.W., and Sass, H.-M. (eds) The Philosophical Forum, 8, 2–4 (1976–7); a special triple issue devoted to works on or by the Young Hegelians. Books on Feuerbach 9.42 Kamenka, E. The Philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970. 9.43 Wartofsky, M.W. Feuerbach, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977. Books and articles on Marx, Engels, and the Young Hegelians 9.44 Althusser, L. For Marx, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969. 9.45 Avineri, S. The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968. 9.46 Barth, H. Truth and Ideology, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976. 9.47 Cohen, G.A. Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978. 9.48 Colletti, L. Marxism and Hegel, London: New Left Books, 1973. 9.49 Dupré, L. The Philosophical Foundations of Marxism, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966. 9.50 McLellan, D. Marx before Marxism, London: Macmillan, 1970. 9.51 Mepham, J. and Ruben, D.H. Marx and Philosophy: Three Studies, New York: New York University Press, 1986. 9.52 Suchting, W.A. “Marx’s Theses on Feuerbach: A new Translation and Notes Towards a Commentary,” in J.Mepham and D.H.Ruben (eds) Issues in Marxist Philosophy, Vol. 2: Materialism, Brighton: Harvester, 1979.
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