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GER150 Lecture 2

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Willi Goetschel

GER150 January 14 GER150 Lecture 2 Readings Marx, „A Contribution to the Critique...“ (Marx, Selected Writings, 27-39), “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts” (58-79) Theses on Feuerbach (98-101), German Ideology (102-131) • Carl Marx (1818-1883) was the 3rd generation of modern philosophers in Germany - the first being that of Kant, and the second being Hegel. • During Marx’s time, conservative laws were reinstated... in 1812, there were laws introduced allowing Jews to be a part of normal society, but now they were rebuked, not allowing them to be at par with other citizens. • Marx’s father was a Rabbi • Intellectual family background *Religion • He doesn’t talk much about Judaism; once wrote a controversial essay about it though - On the Jewish Question (1843). • Proudly secularized and assimilated • Freud later would talk about the toxicity of Religion • Marx strongly supported enlightenment movement; studied philosophy • Early writings supported a materialist philosophy over idealist. He was alsovery leftist. • Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity - religion is about “fantasies”.Theories of human thought via the written word. • Became active as a journalist - editor of the Rhine newspaper. • At the age of 25, moves to Paris due to there being a lot of repression in Germany • Became close to Heinrich Heine, a German poet/critic living there. Considered to be like the second best writer after Goethe. • Eventually Marx was kicked out of Paris by German spies - Heine was untouched as he had been there a long time with a lot of connections (practically a parisian). • Marx had to go to Brussels, then to England, and stayed in London for the rest of his life. Read a lot about history of economy... • Married daughter of a Prussian baron. Had 7 children, 3 survived. • Friends with Engels, from Manchester. • Engels occasionally wrote articles under name of Marx for the NewYork telegrapher • Marx - analytic theory vs. normativevisions/speculative thoughts are separate • “As for me, I am not a Marxist”. • Marx thought the revolution would happen at the most advanced western European societies, not Russia or China. • Meaning of “Critique” pre and post Kant - more sophisticatedversion of being skeptical • Critique involves a practical validity GER150 January 14 • Wrote as a journalist, bringing up ideas can make a big impact/reaction from society • Amplified what is wrong with society • Engaging style of writing, aim is to redirect the mind of the reader.Takes idea od critique very literally, it is a style of writing. Urges action. • Reported about local parliaments/assemblies to the public. Ex. It was illegal to take wood from the forests which belonged to aristocracy.Theft issue discussed in the parliament. Marx made a point of the fact that the democratically elected penalty was chosen by representatives of the land
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