SOCI 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: For Marx

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4 Jun 2020
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Kant: No one can know absolute truth
But we can know the absolute truth of APPEARANCES because we live in a
world of appearances
Hegel: the way to do it is by thinking historically
We have to look at things by the way it develops through time, in order to grasp
the truth
Even nature is in time and is historical
We cannot predict the future, but there are 3 spheres in our life where we can see
the absolute truth
Art
Great religions
Philosophy/thought
Thought applied to appearances can allow us to look through time
and grasp the truth
Ability to reason, ability to understand and explain allows us to
grasp the truth
The Good”- what drives history is a type of spiritual power that is pushing the
historical process to wherever it’s going
History has reached its contemporary high point, political struggles the highest of
its time
Struggle of monarchy, voting, citizens’ rights
Marx- born 1818 after Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo
Political outcast, descendant of Jews but immediate family was Lutheran, father
was a lawyer- set up for prestige
Disillusioned with Hegelian philosophy, over-valued philosophy, religion, and art
Living on the earth is the foundation of our existence
Wrote critique, felt the need to challenge thought and reality as he found it
Criticizes religion
Religion is not at all about anything absolute. Religion is one of
the most powerful forms of illusions. Religion creates an opioid
which every powerful figure in the world recognizes. Every
country wants its people to be religious because it numbs people;
keeps them from wanting to create change. Religion is an obstacle
to human beings seizing the right to change the world, it is a
pathway for struggle.
People have a way to be more powerful and create change but
religion gets in the way
Expresses our every struggling in an abstract way
Criticizes philosophy
The notion of philosophy as the highest form of human
understanding is wrong. Philosophers have only interpreted the
world in various ways, however the goal is to change it. Need to go
beyond philosophy. Another way of being powerless within reality.
Need to look at how humankind has made the world the way it is
now and how we can change it.
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