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SOC201H1-Nov 14, Week 9

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November 14th Theses on Feuerbach
Next week, after 8pm, students can stay for approx. 20 minutes after from prof to talk to us
about grad school
“being is becoming” - A certain way of approaching reality e.g. overhead projector, a thing
consisting of parts e.g. Plug, glass lens, this thing is an assembly of different parts. If you apply
“being as becoming” to overhead projector, it's an overhead projector today, but the iron might
have come from iron ore from Newfoundland, may glass from Switzerland, if we start to think
of this projector as a coming of different elements w/ different histories, if we project into the
future, we know these parts are not going to be the same as they are today. In the future
powerpoint might be universally used in classrooms, and recycler will physically that this thing
apart & different parts will go into different directions. “being as becoming”: for anything to
exist, it must be part of a process of parts coming together and dissolution
e.g. even you won't last forever, you are temporary coming together of different elements
that won't remain together forever
ontology branch of philosophy that studies nature of being/existence
epistemology study of knowledge i.e. the kinds of knowledge that is appropriate
given the ontological nature of the matter we're dealing with, a certain epistemology is required
e.g. you can't use the knowledge of child psychology to study a car
Marx: “Theses on Feuerbach” (1845)
Engels (who wrote communist manifesto w/ Marx) gave this speech at Marx's gravesite “Marx
discovered the simple fact that mankind must evolve to eat, [meet basic needs] order to get
involved in politics, [etc]”
1. Karl Marc (1818-83)
materialism as method
capitalism is a system defined by commodification of labour, is the coming together of
the bourgeois in a relationship that is exploitative. Marx saw capitalism is a temporary
coming together of classes that will not last. This view points to the transience of things,
he believes that in a capitalist society, to get people to swallow a system of exploitation
is to make them seem natural/permanent. To think like Marx is a dialectical way of
thinking, and “Dialectic is the abomination of the bourgeois class”. To not be dialectic,
is to make exploitation seem natural.
explaining alienated labour
Marx:“[Capitalism] turns our labour into mere commodity that can be brought and sold”
explaining religion (alienation again)
for Marx religion is another form of alienation, religion robs us of our merits as human
2. Marx vs. G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) Hegel is a very complex thinker, Hegel tries to connect
things in ways the other people would not, prof will summarize some of his ideas
history follows a logic that reason can grasp
1700s onward is a time when religion is weakening, & it's been replaced by reasoning
attack intolerance, prejudice, power of the church, etc.
Hegel talks about reason and god as being the same thing, Hegel joins god w/ reason
history expresses an idea
Hegel says history is the development the Idea (which is synonymous w/ reason)
history is an unfolding of ideas
Hegel says history is the process of the unfolding of Ideas w/ correction & more
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