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Paperback Feuerbach: The Roots of the Socialist Philosophy Book

ISBN: 1507854013

ISBN13: 9781507854013

Feuerbach: The Roots of the Socialist Philosophy

(Book #59 in the Cuadernos de Pasado y Presente Series)

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Book Overview

This work takes us back nearly sixty years, to a time when what is now a movement of universal significance was in its infancy. Hegel and the Revolution of 1848; these are the points of departure. To the former, we owe the philosophic form of the socialist doctrine, to the latter, its practical activity as a movement.

Customer Reviews

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A Concise Synopsis of the Advent of Modern Philosophy

At first I became interested in this book due to my interest in Feuerbach but was immediately overwhelmed by Engels' command of the history of European philosophy from the Greeks to his present time. From what little I have read of Marx himself, it seems an irony that history has placed Engels subordinately to Marx. Engels is a first rate intellect not to be overlooked. This brief, content filled book, "Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy," is an excellent overview of continental philosophy and the brilliant zeitgeist that permeated pre-turn of the century European thought, and which has lamentably fallen into disuse in our own time. This book, published in 1888, takes us from Hegel to Feuerbach, to the most sublime manifestations of idealism and pragmatic materialism (hence Marx's dialectical materialism), conditioning for us all along the way religion and ethics; and all of this in the span of 50 pages. This book is well written, informative, and highly recommended for any student of European history, philosophy, sociology, and political science. It rather poops out at the end as Engels makes his final sales plug, but this weakness is tertiary to the overall scope and historical exegetics offered here.The book really reads like a collection of four essays.I). From Hegel to Feuerbach: This chapter is an overview of the failure of Hegelian thought that German philosophy was so imbued with in the mid-19th century, which also serves as a kind of marker for the beginning of modern philosophy.II). Idealism and Materialism: This chapter is Engels version of sociology and psychological anthropology. His expectation of the emergence of a pragmatic materialism parallels that of Feuerbach's. This chapter leads through the death of idealism to the birth of materialism.III). Feuerbach's Philosophy of Religion and Ethics: As the first chapter gives us an overview of Hegel, so this third chapter outlines the successes and failures of Feuerbach's thought. We also see the emergent thrust that led to Marxism in its organic position at the time of its advent, not as the polemics of conservative, Christian historians of today have painted it.IV). Dialectical Materialism: Finally, chapter four outlines Engels's sociological expectations in the context of the preceeding three chapters; from feudalism to the industrial modernity of his time. Not only does Engels scetch out how Christianity became the possession of the ruling class as a means of government, but how philosophy too became a tool of their hegemony. His expectation that science would eventually meld with the worker rather than commercial interests belies the naivete that saw the failure of modern Marxism. His conclusion that philosophy too would emerge victorious along with the worker is certianly puzzling in hindsight, and can still be seen in the tenacious frustrations of post-modernism over the failure of Marxism.Feuerbach aside, this little book is an excellent read full of
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