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The Philosophical Synthesis of Marx Not very long ago it was extremely fashionable among official men of learning to say that Marx had really produced nothing new in the philosophical sphere Such a well-known philosopher as Wilhelm Wundt in his Introduction to Philosophy wrote This lack of clarity in its metaphysical premises ie of Marxism NB has a comprehensible basis in the fact that practical questions alone interest sociological materialism Therefore the system does not even possess the necessary theoretical foundation which it openly leaves to physiological materialism to work out1 It would be hard to find an argument so utterly ignorant and untrue as the above-quoted argument of Wundt However the course of the social struggle and of vast ideological changes which like the overwhelming movement of geological formations express the depth of the conflict within the perishing world of capitalism has compelled consideration of the question of Marx the philosopher Since the publication of new works by Marx and Engels above all the German Ideology and Engels Dialectic of Nature it has become quite clear how right were the orthodox Marxians when they considered that in the philosophical field also Marx fills the place due to him Indeed Marx is the creator of a great philosophical synthesis with which none of the latest and most fashionable philosophical systems can be compared Marx as we know reached dialectical materialism from Hegel through Feuerbach including all the rational elements of the preceding thousand years of philosophical development in his system He had a splendid knowledge of the history of philosophy and there are no more brilliant historical and philosophical characterisations both from the point of view of the social conditioning of doctrines and that of their immanent logic than certain of Marxs characterisations2 In order to show the full originality of Marxs philosophical creation it is right to begin our analysis with the question of the relation of subject and object in
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