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/edu/ - Education

'The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses.' - Karl Marx
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I plan to study this book over the next week starting tonight or tomorrow. Anyone wanna join the read? I'd wager ~50-70pgs (relative to my edition) per day is doable for most. So my plan then roughly is
>The three forewords, Intro (What Herr Duhring promises) and then chapters III-VIII
>From VIII to XIV
>Second part Political Economy I-V
>Then V-X
>Third ch. Socialism in its entirety


If anyone thinks a study guide would be better so we follow some main points, be free to post it or suggest it. I'm not a fan of structured studies because then I read the text with a certain goal in mind instead of understanding it.


Sure sounds good


Cool. One person that's willing to read is quite enough. I'll get to reading and taking notes. I did look around for a search guide and found this
I think the questions are fine. We could use them as guidance points while still giving our observations which we found meaningful. Once a day I'll try to update the thread, marking the day, some comments, observations, questions etc. just to have loosely structured reading group.

You'll recognize me by the flag. See you at 22CET roughly.


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Day 1 - 20.8.2023
Preface to the three editions - Introduction: Genral, What Herr Duhring Promises - Philosophy: Classification. A priorism, World schematism, Natural philosophy: time and space, cosmogony, physics, chemistry, organic world.

Historic context for when Anti-Duhring was written.
The German revolution as part of the spring of nations in 1848. ended with partial success: the bourgeoisie didn't realize its political goals and had to let the German unification be lead by the reactionary forces - the Prussian junkers, the court and bureaucracy; Bismarck forms the imperialist Germany on whose ruins will stem the nazifascistic state. The bourgeoisie was however left to freely develop its economy. The worker's movement was majorly thrown back - it lost its organization, the Communist League and its program - The Communist Manifesto - was forgotten. Only in the 1860s had the worker's movement developed again to form two parties of its own: in Leipzig in 1863. did the Lassalians form their own General German Worker's Association (ADAV) and in Eisenach in 1869. the Social-Democratic Worker's Party (SAPD).

Lassalle's group was an opportunist group which cooperated with Bismarck and their ideology was imbued with idealism and some general elements of Marx's critique. The Eisenach group broke away from such petty-bourgeois politics and got together on the basis of the First Internationale, which didn't imply their outlook was based on scientific socialism, since Marx himself organized the Internationale so that even anarchists, proudhonists, possibilistes etc. could join. But, in two cases, the Eisenach group did reach out to Marx as well - when it came to uniting with the Lassallians, and when it came to Duhring.

As the junker nobility merged with the emerging bourgeoisie, the use of the lassallians was diminishing for Bismarck, who had used them as an leverage against the very same bourgeoisie that was now taking the lead. This forced the group to reach out to the Eisenach group, so not to disappear as a political subject, but the Eisenach group not being theoretically capable to lead the unification, and Marx advice falling on deaf ears, meant that opportunism and reformism was bound to appear. It was in this situation that Duhring came out with his writings which so impressed the theoretically unprepared group and dazzled them into an idealistic and anti-revolutionary outlook.

It was in 1872. that Eduard Bernstein would enter the SAPD. Duhring's Course of national and social economy had impressed him.
NB. Translations are done freely when I couldn't have been bothered to search for them
>[Duhring] without reserve admits to being a socialist, and the pragmatic-positivist form in which he taught socialism there [Course of etc], had strongly resonated with me, since socialism from Marx and Engels Communist Manifesto hasn't created no encapsulating showing of founding thoughts and goals of the socialist movement, and the Manifesto alone was content with dubious conclusions, for which I held, that were not sufficient for the movement for the level it had reached now.
(From Entwicklungsgang eines Socialisten)
Bernstein would gift a copy of Duhring's Course to Bebel, who was then in jail, in the summer of 1873. Bernstein held that Duhring was mending the split between Marx's and Lassalle's line in the movement.
>Instead of the war call "here Marx!", "here Lassalle!" another war call was emerging: "here Duhring", "here Marx and Lassalle"
Duhring's influence in the movement was so huge in fact, that Bebel had been comparing him to Marx's Capital in some of his unsigned article "New Communist" in the Volksstaat which was circulating in the movement. Marx and Engels were furious, as Engels answers to Liebknecht on one occasional when the topic came up:
>Do you have any doubts that mister Duhring is either a lump or an enemy?
(Letter from 13.6.1874.)
Duhring has the following to say about Marx's work: folly, sectarian scholastic, bastards of historical and logical fantasy. The summer of 1875. Liebknecht pressures Engels to write a critique to Duhring to silence the ever growing mass of praises the duhringists are publishing. And Engels starts the work of critiquing Duhring in November of the same year. At the same time Engels was preparing an critical examination of existing natural sciences, something he and Marx held as necessary and immediately to be done. To avoid having to write a proper critique Engels gave a short critique of Duhring comparing him to the schnapps producing and exporting junker, but this wasn't sufficient.

Engels starts the polemic with Duhring with a short outline which he writes to Marx about.
>It is all very well for you to talk. You can lie warm in bed and study ground rent in general and Russian agrarian conditions in particular with nothing to disturb you — but I am to sit on the hard bench, swill cold wine, suddenly interrupt everything again and get after the blood of the boring Dühring. However, there is doubtless nothing else for it, even if I involve myself in a controversy of which it is impossible to see the end; after all, I shall have no peace otherwise, and then friend Most's panegyric on Dühring's Course of Philosophy has shown me exactly where and how to direct the attack. This book will have to be included because on many decisive points it better exposes the weak sides and weak foundations of the arguments put forward in the Economy. I am ordering it at once
> For the noble gentleman's conception of history — that there was nothing but rubbish until Dühring arrived — this book also has the advantage that here one can quote his own crass words. Anyhow, I have him on the hip now. My plan is ready — J'ai mon plan. First of all I shall deal with the trash in a purely objective and apparently serious way, and then the treatment will become sharper according to the degree in which the proofs of the nonsense on the one hand and of the platitudes on the other begin to pile up, until at last we get to a regular hailstorm. In this fashion Most and Co. are deprived of their excuse about "unkindness" and Dühring gets his deserts all the same. These gentlemen must be shown that there is more than one way by which one can settle accounts with people of this kind.

In the next post I'll write about the structure of the work itself… but I'll go take a break now, since I'm not used to writing so much English. Also sorry for just starting today, I was too tired to write anything yesterday and I had wanted to also prepare an introduction :// hope tankanon doesn't mind


The structure of Engels' Anti-Duhring
If one is to compare the contents of Duhring's Course of philosophy and Anti-Duhring one sees that Engels follows the structure Duhring has put out. The structure of Anti-Duhring hinges upon Duhring's thought. The full title: Herr Eugen Duhring's Revolution in Science is parody of Duhring's praise to Carey. (Carey's Revolution in Economy and Social Sciences). Engels publishes three series of articles in Vorwaerts: Herr Eugen Duhring's Revolution in Philosophy (corresponding to chapters I-XIV), Herr Eugen Duhring's Revolution in Economy, Herr Eugen Duhring's Revolution in Socialism (corresponding to the similarly titled chapters in the book). Engels is not making the exposition as he would prefer and has to follow Duhring's structure - hence, for example, Introduction I and Socialism I and II become the well-known classic text Socialism: scientific and utopian. Another text is extracted The Role of Violence in History. These were not just replies to Duhring, but also Engels' positive contribution to theory which was contra most of then active socialists. Engels goal was to show that the 'common sense' understanding of history, violence and many other social categories is effectively a barrier to a full dialectical understanding of social movement.

In I Introduction Engels talks about the formations of contemporary socialism, with its Enlightenment roots, Engels shows the internal contradictions of such early socialists and the ineptitude to separate themselves from their petty-bourgeois, bourgeois or other prejudices to put the theory on proper dialectical and materialists grounds. He contraposes the development of dialectical thought, from the Greeks through Spinoza and Descartes to classic German philosophy - again showing the limit of the same Germany system accusing Hegel of himself accepting dialectical thought only to reduce it again to a complete system which declares some final reality. Finally, Engels points out to the historical and material background which lead to the synthesis of a new socialism, not one in the head of a genius, but as direct consequence of worker's movements becoming more defined, as the Lyon worker's rebellion in 1831. and the chartist movement. Beside these, two major achievements in the field of scientific socialism are the discovery of the materialist conception of history and the Marx's own contribution to the theory of surplus value.

Liebknecht continues publishing Engels's articles, to the dismay of the duhringists who see them as petty retribution for Duhring having insulted Marx. During the Gotha congress, Johann Most tries to mend the situation by suggesting the following.
>The congress declares: articles, like the critiques which are published in the last months by Engels against Duhring, which are for the majority of readers completely uninteresting or wholly stumbling, have nothing to do in the central newsletter in the future.
Bebel suggests that the articles be allowed, because it goes towards resolving practical questions, and that the duhringists are free to reply with equally long articles. He did support the cessation of publishing in the newsletter and had suggested Engels publish his works in a brochure. (At this point, Bebel was still theoretically confused). Liebknecht had won the possibility of the articles being published in the theoretical section of Vorwaerts. Some commented that the polemic was purely a "professor's argument!"

The structure mimicking Duhrings own work had major implications. Kautsky would go on to repeat Duhring's mistakes thinking they were Engels' contribution. For Kautsky, Engels gives an "exhaustive and closed image of three parts of Marxist theory" (thinking philosophy, economy, science; but this was the thing Engels argues against Duhring). This error of Kautsky was noticed by Karl Korsch.

The next post we will deal with the work itself - but I am going to take a writing break again!


I Introduction: General
>The great men, who in France prepared men's minds for the coming revolution, were themselves extreme revolutionists. They recognised no external authority of any kind whatever. Religion, natural science, society, political institutions — everything was subjected to the most unsparing criticism; everything must justify its existence before the judgment-seat of reason or give up existence. Reason became the sole measure of everything. It was the time when, as Hegel says, the world stood upon its head; first in the sense that the human head, and the principles arrived at by its thought, claimed to be the basis of all human action and association; but by and by, also, in the wider sense that the reality which was in contradiction to these principles had, in fact, to be turned upside down. Every form of society and government then existing, every old traditional notion was flung into the lumber room as irrational; the world had hitherto allowed itself to be led solely by prejudices; everything in the past deserved only pity and contempt. Now, for the first time, appeared the light of day, henceforth superstition, injustice, privilege, oppression, were to be superseded by eternal truth, eternal Right, equality based on nature and the inalienable rights of man.
>We know today that this kingdom of reason was nothing more than the idealised kingdom of the bourgeoisie; that this eternal Right found its realisation in bourgeois justice; that this equality reduced itself to bourgeois equality before the law; that bourgeois property was proclaimed as one of the essential rights of man; and that the government of reason, the Contrat Social of Rousseau, [21] came into being, and only could come into being, as a democratic bourgeois republic. The great thinkers of the eighteenth century could, no more than their predecessors, go beyond the limits imposed upon them by their epoch.

In their extremes, holding reason for the eternal justice, the utopians and other essentially claimed:
>Socialism is the expression of absolute truth, reason and justice and has only to be discovered to conquer all the world by virtue of its own power. And as absolute truth is independent of time, space, and of the historical development of man,. it is a mere accident when and where it is discovered.
Hence had there just been someone that discovered the laws of reason some 500 years earlier, we wouldn't have to deal with our reality as it is now. This shows the metaphysical thinking of socialists up until this point.

The ancient Greeks started with dialectical thinking, yet noticing that everything is changing, as Heraclitus did, wasn't sufficient when it came to understanding particularities. These forced men to look at events and phenomena in an isolated light, which further separated them from dialectical thinking. It is now the time that we again take all these singular phenomena and analyze them as part of a broader movement, says Engels.

>When we consider and reflect upon nature at large or the history of mankind or our own intellectual activity, at first we see the picture of an endless entanglement of relations and reactions in which nothing remains what, where and as it was, but everything moves, changes, comes into being and passes away. This primitive, naive but intrinsically correct conception of the world is that of ancient Greek philosophy, and was first clearly formulated by Heraclitus: everything is and is not, for everything is fluid, is constantly changing, constantly coming into being and passing away.

>But this conception, correctly as it expresses the general character of the picture of appearances as a whole, does not suffice to explain the details of which this picture is made up, and so long as we do not understand these, we have not a clear idea of the whole picture. In order to understand these details we must detach them from their natural or historical connection and examine each one separately, its nature, special causes, effects, etc.
>But this method of work has also left us as legacy the habit of observing natural objects and processes in isolation, apart from their connection with the vast whole; of observing them in repose, not in motion; as constants, not as essentially variables, in their death, not in their life. And when this way of looking at things was transferred by Bacon and Locke from natural science to philosophy, it begot the narrow, metaphysical mode of thought peculiar to the preceding centuries.
>To the metaphysician, things and their mental reflexes, ideas, are isolated, are to be considered one after the other and apart from each other, are objects of investigation fixed, rigid, given once for all. He thinks in absolutely irreconcilable antitheses. "His communication is 'yea, yea; nay, nay'; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." [Matthew 5:37. — Ed.] For him a thing either exists or does not exist; a thing cannot at the same time be itself and something else. Positive and negative absolutely exclude one another, cause and effect stand in a rigid antithesis one to the other.

He then goes on to describe these metaphysical modes of thinking. He reaches Hegel.
Engels on Hegel's contribution to philosophy
>This new German philosophy culminated in the Hegelian system. In this system — and herein is its great merit — for the first time the whole world, natural, historical, intellectual, is represented as a process, i.e., as in constant motion, change transformation, development; and the attempt is made to trace out the internal connection that makes a continuous whole of all this movement and development. From this point of view the history of mankind no longer appeared as a wild whirl of senseless deeds of violence, all equally condemnable at the judgment-seat of mature philosophic reason and which are best forgotten as quickly as possible, but as the process of evolution of man himself. It was now the task of the intellect to follow the gradual march of this process through all its devious ways, and to trace out the inner law running through all its apparently accidental phenomena.
>Hegel was an idealist. To him the thoughts within his brain were not the more or less abstract pictures of actual things and processes, but, conversely, things and their evolution were only the realised pictures of the "Idea", existing somewhere from eternity before the world was. This way of thinking turned everything upside down, and completely reversed the actual connection of things in the world. Correctly and ingeniously as many individual groups of facts were grasped by Hegel, yet, for the reasons just given, there is much that is botched, artificial, laboured, in a word, wrong in point of detail. The Hegelian system, in itself, was a colossal miscarriage — but it was also the last of its kind. It was suffering, in fact, from an internal and incurable contradiction. Upon the one hand, its essential proposition was the conception that human history is a process of evolution, which, by its very nature, cannot find its intellectual final term in the discovery of any so-called absolute truth. But, on the other hand, it laid claim to being the very essence of this absolute truth. A system of natural and historical knowledge, embracing everything, and final for all time, is a contradiction to the fundamental laws of dialectic reasoning. This law, indeed, by no means excludes, but, on the contrary, includes the idea that the systematic knowledge of the external universe can make giant strides from age to age.

The historical conception of history forces upon all dimensions of man's life a materialistic outlook. As Engels writes
>As soon as each special science is bound to make clear its position in the great totality of things and of our knowledge of things, a special science dealing with this totality is superfluous. That which still survives, independently, of all earlier philosophy is the science of thought and its laws — formal logic and dialectics. Everything else is subsumed in the positive science of nature and history.

The ending deals with scientific socialism emerging from the emerging proletarian class struggle as I outlined in the previous post.


NB Whenever I quote I use the meme-arrows; when there's a quote inside a quote I use the reverse meme arrows. Here in green is Engels, in orange are him quoting Duhring. Long citations are necessary, and if you can't read through these posts wtf are you doing in a reading general

II Introduction: What Herr Duhring Promises
This chapter Engels quickly outlines Duhrings goals and shows already how they're essentially metaphysical. He shows that Duhring plans to write out how a socialist society is to look like. It is really short part and there's not much to say what the title already doesn't tell you. Duhring criticizes Fourier, Saint-Simon, Owen; Darwin, Leibnitz,
>As for Dühring's opinion of the later socialists, we shall, for the sake of brevity, cite him only on Lassalle and Marx:
<Lassalle: “Pedantic, hair-splitting efforts to popularise … rampant scholasticism … a monstrous hash of general theories and paltry trash {509} … Hegel-superstition, senseless and formless … a horrifying example {511} … peculiarly limited {513} … pompous display of the most paltry trifles {514} … our Jewish hero {515} … pamphleteer {519} … common {520} … inherent instability in his view of life and of the world” {529}.
<Marx: “Narrowness of conception … his works and achievements in and by themselves, that is, regarded from a purely theoretical standpoint, are without any permanent significance in our domain” (the critical history of socialism), “and in the general history of intellectual tendencies they are to be cited at most as symptoms of the influence of one branch of modern sectarian scholastics {D. K. G. 495} … impotence of the faculties of concentration and systematisation … deformity of thought and style, undignified affectation of language … anglicised vanity … duping {497} … barren conceptions which in fact are only bastards of historical and logical fantasy … deceptive twisting {498} … personal vanity {499} … vile mannerisms … snotty … buffoonery pretending to be witty … Chinese erudition {506} … philosophical and scientific backwardness” {507}.

III Classification. A priorism
<Philosophy, according to Herr Dühring, is the development of the highest form of consciousness of the world and of life {D. Ph. 2},and in a wider sense embraces the principles of all knowledge and volition. Wherever a series of cognitions or stimuli or a group of forms of being come to be examined by human consciousness, the principles underlying these manifestations of necessity become an object of philosophy. These principles are the simple, or until now assumed to be simple, constituents of manifold knowledge and volition {8}. Like the chemical composition of bodies, the general constitution of things can be reduced to basic forms and basic elements. These ultimate constituents or principles, once they have been discovered, are valid not only for what is immediately known and accessible, but also for the world which is unknown and inaccessible to us. Philosophical principles consequently provide the final supplement required by the sciences in order to become a uniform system by which nature and human life can be explained{9}. Apart from the fundamental forms of all existence, philosophy has only two specific subjects of investigation — nature and the world of man {14}. Accordingly, our material arranges itself quite naturally into three groups, namely, the general scheme of the universe, the science of the principles of nature, and finally the science of mankind. This succession at the same time contains an inner logical sequence, for the formal principles which are valid for all being take precedence, and the realms of the objects to which they are to be applied then follow in the degree of their subordination {15}.
>So far Herr Dühring, and almost entirely word for word.

In red: the correct conclusion would be 'ideas are the final part of the analysis, not their source' - incorrect conclusion based on premises. Then: structuralizing the world into separate laws which govern it. Again - assuming the ideas naturally split into three parts, that there is some inherent logic to this classification. Engels emphasis the image-reflection theory of knowledge (Lenin writes extensively about this in Materialism and Empirio-Criticism). Engels shows that in spite of denouncing Hegel, Duhring essentially copies his ideas - and Kant's as well.
>However, our philosopher of reality had also other motives for shifting the basis of all reality from the real world to the world of thought. The science of this general world schematism, of these formal principles of being, is precisely the foundation of Herr Dühring's philosophy. If we deduce world schematism not from our minds, but only through our minds from the real world, if we deduce principles of being from what is, we need no philosophy for this purpose, but positive knowledge of the world and of what happens in it; and what this yields is also not philosophy, but positive science. In that case, however, Herr Dühring's whole volume would be nothing but love's labour lost.
>Mankind therefore finds itself faced with a contradiction: on the one hand, it has to gain an exhaustive knowledge of the world system in all its interrelations; and on the other hand, because of the nature both of men and of the world system, this task can never be completely fulfilled. But this contradiction lies not only in the nature of the two factors — the world, and man — it is also the main lever of all intellectual advance, and finds its solution continuously, day by day, in the endless progressive development of humanity, just as for example mathematical problems find their solution in an infinite series or continued fractions. Each mental image of the world system is and remains in actual fact limited, objectively by the historical conditions and subjectively by the physical and mental constitution of its originator.

Engels goes on to write about mathematics. As a mathematician myself I had come to the same conclusions as Engels did in this paragraph when I was having polemics with other mathematicians arguing for mathematics as a 'language of the universe' (just another way of saying world schema). Axioms of thought are not laws of reality, but the most general form in which reality reflects in our minds.

IV World Schemata
<“All-embracing being is one. In its self-sufficiency it has nothing alongside it or over it. To associate a second being with it would be to make it something that it is not, namely, a part or constituent of a more comprehensive whole. Due to the fact that we extend our unified thought like a framework, nothing that should be comprised in this thought-unity can retain a duality within itself. Nor, again, can anything escape this thought-unity… The essence of all thought consists in bringing together the elements of consciousness into a unity {D. Ph. 16} … It is the point of unity of the synthesis where the indivisible idea of the world came into being and the universe, as the name itself implies, is apprehended as something in which everything is united into unity” {17}.
>Thus far Herr Dühring.
>Within the space of the next six lines Herr Dühring has transformed the oneness of being, by means of our unified thought, into its unit. As the essence of all thought consists in bringing things together into a unity, so being, as soon as it is conceived, is conceived as unified, and the idea of the world as indivisible; and because conceived being, the idea of the world, is unified, therefore real being, the real world, is also an indivisible unity. And with that
<“there is no longer any room for things beyond, once the mind has learnt to conceive being in its homogeneous universality”

>In the first place, thought consists just as much in the taking apart of objects of consciousness into their elements as in the putting together of related elements into a unity. Without analysis, no synthesis. Secondly, without making blunders thought can bring together into a unity only those elements of consciousness in which or in whose real prototypes this unity already existed before. If I include a shoe-brush in the unity mammals, this does not help it to get mammary glands. The unity of being, or rather, the question whether its conception as a unity is justified, is therefore precisely what was to be proved; and when Herr Dühring assures us that he conceives being as a unity and not as twofold, he tells us nothing more than his own unauthoritative opinion.

So it goes. I found this part funny - Duhring justifies his idealistic conception of history the same way you would ontologically prove God:
>The most comical part of the business is that Herr Dühring, in order to prove the non-existence of God from the idea of being, uses the ontological proof for the existence of God. This runs: when we think of God, we conceive him as the sum total of all perfections. But the sum total of all perfections includes above all existence, since. a non-existent being is necessarily imperfect. We must therefore include existence among the perfections of God. Hence God must exist. Herr Dühring reasons in exactly the same way: when we think of being, we conceive it as one idea. Whatever is comprised in one idea is a unity. Being would not correspond to the idea of being if it were not a unity. Consequently it must be a unity. Consequently there is no God, and so on.

Herr Duhring, in two different moments contradicting himself
1.“From the realm of non-sensation a transition is made to that of sensation, in spite of all quantitative gradations, only through a qualitative leap, of which we can say that it is infinitely different from the mere gradation of one and the same property”
2.“How ridiculous, for example, is the reference” (made by Marx) “to the Hegelian confused, hazy notion that quantity is transformed into quality!” {D. K. G. 498}.

Engels on quantity changing to quality
>This is precisely the Hegelian nodal dine of measure relations, in which, at certain definite nodal points, the purely quantitative increase or decrease gives rise to a qualitative leap; for example, in the case of heated or cooled water, where boiling-point and freezing-point are the nodes at which — under normal pressure — the leap to a new state of aggregation takes place, and where consequently quantity is transformed into quality.
Temperature changes quantity, water changes quality. The Hegelian leap.


V Time and Space
Duhring argues in favor of a immovable mover. Engels retorts. We can imagine infinity going one way, says Duhring, say from this point in time, but this point in time presupposes by the same logic an infinite sequence of past times before it. Such a thing is impossible, claims Duhring, hence there must've been some point when history started. Kant already showed that you can argue for and against the existence of infinity from 'common knowledge', so the contradiction within infinity as a concept is something that you have to accept, as Hegel does.

<"Thesis: The world has a beginning in time, and with regard to space is also limited. — Proof: For if it is assumed that the world has no beginning in time, then an eternity must have elapsed up to every given point of time, and consequently an infinite series of successive states of things must have passed away in the world. The infinity of a series, however, consists precisely in this, that it can never be completed by means of a successive synthesis. Hence an infinite elapsed series of worlds is impossible, and consequently a beginning of the world is a necessary condition of its existence. And this was the first thing to be proved. — With regard to the second, if the opposite is again assumed, then the world must be an infinite given total of co-existent things. Now we cannot conceive the dimensions of a quantum, which is not given within certain limits of an intuition, in any other way than by means of the synthesis of its parts, and can conceive the total of such a quantum only by means of a completed synthesis, or by the repeated addition of a unit to itself. Accordingly, to conceive the world, which fills all spaces, as a whole, the successive synthesis of the parts of an infinite world would have to be looked upon as completed; that is, an infinite time would have to be regarded as elapsed in the enumeration of all co-existing things. This is impossible. For this reason an infinite aggregate of actual things cannot be regarded as a given whole nor, therefore, as given at the same time. Hence it follows that the world is not infinite, as regards extension in space, but enclosed in limits. And this was the second thing" (to be proved).

>These sentences are copied word for word from a well-known book which first appeared in 1781 and is called: Kritik der reinen Vernunft by Immanuel Kant, where all and sundry can read them, in the first part, Second Division, Book II, Chapter II, Section II: The First Antinomy of Pure Reason.
>Kant, however, does not at all claim that the above propositions are established by his proof. On the contrary; on the opposite page he states and proves the reverse: that the world has no beginning in time and no end in space; and it is precisely in this that he finds the antinomy, the insoluble contradiction, that the one is just as demonstrable as the other.

Something to keep in mind whenever reading
>The subject at issue is not the idea of time, but real time
i.e. do not prove qualities which you've assumed a priori

Somewhere along here Engels also touches upon movement being the same matter i.e. without matter there is no movement and vice-versa. Hence matter and motion are identical, and presupposing the existence of the material world you necessarily have to assume that it was already in motion - in no state of equilibrium or similar.

VI Cosmogony, physics, chemistry
Again, Duhring continuously falls into assuming the very thing he wants to prove or worse, assumes some "first" unchanged form of whatever he is discussing, and then this unchanged form changes - how? It just does. That's the essence of all metaphysics - things are, things do not become. More of a historical overlook on Kant's ideas how the universe came to be contra Newton.
>The materialists before Herr Dühring spoke of matter and motion. He reduces motion to mechanical force as its supposed basic form, and thereby makes it impossible for himself to understand the real connection between matter and motion, which moreover was also unclear to all former materialists. And yet it is simple enough. Motion is the mode of existence of matter. Never anywhere has there been matter without motion, nor can there be. Motion in cosmic space, mechanical motion of smaller masses on the various celestial bodies, the vibration of molecules as heat or as electrical or magnetic currents, chemical disintegration and combination, organic life — at each given moment each individual atom of matter in the world is in one or other of these forms of motion, or in several forms at once. All rest, all equilibrium, is only relative, only has meaning in relation to one or other definite form of motion. On the earth, for example, a body may be in mechanical equilibrium, may be mechanically at rest; but this in no way prevents it from participating in the motion of the earth and in that of the whole solar system, just as little as it prevents its most minute physical particles from carrying out the vibrations determined by its temperature, or its atoms from passing through a chemical process. Matter without motion is just as inconceivable as motion without matter. Motion is therefore as uncreatable and indestructible as matter itself; as the older philosophy (Descartes) expressed it, the quantity of motion existing in the world is always the same. Motion therefore cannot be created; it can only be transferred. When motion is transferred from one body to another, it may be regarded, in so far as it transfers itself, is active, as the- cause of motion, in so far as the latter is transferred, is passive. We call this active motion force, and the passive, the manifestation of force. Hence it is as clear as daylight that a force is as great as its manifestation, because in fact the same motion takes place in both.
Compare laws of conservation in physics.
>A motionless state of matter is therefore one of the most empty and nonsensical of ideas — a “delirious fantasy ” of the purest water. In order to arrive at such an idea it is necessary to conceive the relative mechanical equilibrium, a state in which a body on the earth may be, as absolute rest, and then to extend this equilibrium over the whole universe.
> From the dialectical standpoint, the possibility of expressing motion in its opposite, in rest, presents absolutely no difficulty. From the dialectical standpoint the whole antithesis, as we have seen, is only relative; there is no such thing as absolute rest, unconditional equilibrium.
&c &c


Thank you


VII&VIII Organic world
NB I think that every socialist should read some natural philosophy. Darwin is on my reading list since a long time, but I've been reading Haeckel recently now and then and it's a nice break to have philosophy grounded somewhat in science rather than v.v. i.e. becoming idealist. The modern theory of revolution differs from its Darwinian beginnings

Duhring straw-mans Darwin would be the summary of the chapter. I'm extracting some interesting paragraphs, not much else, since most of what Engels argues for is standard biology in most high schools already (I hope so…)

On Darwin:
>Darwin brought back from his scientific travels the view that plant and animal species are not constant but subject to variation. In order to follow up this idea after his return home there was no better field available than that of the breeding of animals and plants. It is precisely in this field that England is the classical country; the achievements of other countries, for example Germany, fall far short of what England has achieved in this connection. Moreover, most of these successes have been won during the last hundred years, so that there is very little difficulty in establishing the facts. Darwin found that this breeding produced artificially, among animals and plants of the same species, differences greater than those found in what are generally recognised as different species. Thus was established on the one hand the variability of species up to a certain point, and on the other the possibility of a common ancestry for organisms with different specific characteristics. Darwin then investigated whether there were not possibly causes in nature which — without the conscious intention of the breeder — would nevertheless in the long run produce in living organisms changes similar to those produced by artificial selection. He discovered these causes in the disproportion between the immense number of germs [in the original Keime, ‘shoots’,‘embryos’] created by nature and the insignificant number of organisms which actually attain maturity. But as each germ strives to develop, there necessarily arises a struggle for existence which manifests itself not merely as direct bodily combat or devouring, but also as a struggle for space and light, even in the case of plants. And it is evident that in this struggle those individuals which have some individual peculiarity, however insignificant, that gives them an advantage in the struggle for existence will have the best prospect of reaching maturity and propagating themselves. These individual peculiarities have thus the tendency to descend by heredity, and when they occur among many individuals of the same species, to become more pronounced through accumulated heredity in the direction once taken; while those individuals which do not possess these peculiarities succumb more easily in the struggle for existence and gradually disappear. In this way a species is altered through natural selection, through the survival of the fittest.
>In recent times the idea of natural selection was extended, particularly by Haeckel, and the variation of species conceived as a result of the mutual interaction of adaptation and heredity, in which process adaptation is taken as the factor which produces variations, and heredity as the preserving factor.

adaptation without conscious intention = unconscious purposive activity

>With regard to the origin of life, therefore, up to the present, natural science is only able to say with certainty that it must have been the result of chemical action. However, perhaps the philosophy of reality is in a position to give some help on this point as it has at its disposal independent parallel lines of products of nature not mediated by common descent. How can these have come into existence? By spontaneous generation? But up to now even the most audacious advocates of spontaneous generation have not claimed that this produced anything but bacteria, embryonic fungi and other very primitive organisms — no insects, fishes, birds or mammals. But if these homogeneous products of nature — organic, of course, as here we are only dealing with these — are not connected by descent, they or each of their ancestors must, at the point “where the thread of descent breaks off”, have been put into the world by a separate act of creation. So we arrive once again at a creator and at what is called deism.

The second part of the chapter deals chiefly with some Duhring's conception of life. Engels, of course, criticizes them.

>Wherever we find life we find it associated with an albuminous body, and wherever we find an albuminous body not in process of dissolution, there also without exception we find phenomena of life. Undoubtedly, the presence of other chemical combinations is also necessary in a living body in order to induce particular differentiations of these phenomena of life; but they are not requisite for naked life, except in so far as they enter the body as food and are transformed into albumen. The lowest living beings known to us are in fact nothing but simple particles of albumen, and they already exhibit all the essential phenomena of life.

Life i.e. life processes exist when proteins do, and vice-versa, hence they are equivalent. But this is such a broad and unsatisfying definition - not an issue: axioms of thought are not laws of reality, but the most general form in which reality reflects in our minds.
>Our definition of life is naturally very inadequate, inasmuch as, far from including all the phenomena of life, it has to be limited to those which are the most common and the simplest. From a scientific standpoint all definitions are of little value. In order to gain an exhaustive knowledge of what life is, we should have to go through all the forms in which it appears, from the lowest to the highest. But for ordinary usage such definitions are very convenient and in places cannot well be dispensed with; moreover, they can do no harm, provided their inevitable deficiencies are not forgotten.

no no thank you for joining us tonight


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That's a wrap for these chapters. Main points: contra metaphysics in natural sciences and mathematics. Introduction deals with a materialistic and historic analysis of development of scientific socialism. I know I write comments or expositions rarely but this is mostly because the work is quite understandable. I only sometimes write what I had thought during the time of reading. Paragraphs are quoted because they have to be. Alright see you tomorrow hopefully! Good night anons.


Tankyoo :)

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