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Reality of the Ideal

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Chapter Summary

The radical error of Hegelianism consists in the belief that ideas rule over the world, and the whole history of mankind is some 'other-being' of pure ideas. So Marx and Engels intended to turn philosophy upside down - to drive away philosophy, with its 'drunken speculation', from the 'science of history', and to depict reality as it is. The subject of philosophy had been narrowed down to the 'realm of pure thoughts'. Das Reich des reinen Gedankens is the only thing that falls to the share of philosophy after the expulsion of it from nature and history by 'positive sciences', Engels declares. To study the laws of the thought process - formal logic and the dialectical method - is all that philosophers could do with profit to the cause. Young Evald Ilyenkov attempted to return Marxist philosophy to its roots, having restricted its subject to the sphere of 'pure thought'.

Keywords: Das Reich des reinen Gedankens; dialectical method; drunken speculation; Engels; Evald Ilyenkov; formal logic; Hegelianism; Marxist philosophy; positive sciences; science of history

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