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Conclusions From This Historical Excursus

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Chapter Summary

From his early teachers, Ludwig Feuerbach and Moses Hess, Marx learnt the key insights for a critical appropriation of Hegels philosophy. Instead of throwing out Hegels absolute idealism and opting for an anthropological materialism such as Feuerbachs, Marx was able to interpret and appropriate Hegels Spirit through the notion of activity: All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice. As Goethe has proposed, the foundation for the understanding of a complex whole is the discovery of its cell-form, its Urphänomen. The philosophical significance of the Urphänomen is that it is an empirically observable unit of the whole, and the logical prototype of the whole phenomenon. The Urphänomen which Goethe took to be a product of Nature, Hegel took as a concept within some formation of consciousness, and in Marxs interpretation, this became a system of actions.

Keywords: Goethe; Hegels philosophy; Marx; Urphänomen



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