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Theses On Feuerbach

About 200 words total.
In this thread, we break down what the Marx was trying to say.

Link to the text:


For my own sake, I'm breaking down what I understand of the first thesis, because this shit is kind of ridiculous.

[brackets] are my comments that reflect my understanding of the text.

>The main defect of all hitherto-existing [previously-existing] materialism — that of Feuerbach included — is that the Object [as in Object in the Subject-Object], actuality, sensuousness (sensory experience), are conceived only in the form of the object [actual material objects], or of contemplation [contemplation of objects], but not as human sensuous [aka sensory] activity, practice [Praxis], not subjectively.

So here he is criticizing other takes on materialism in that they either take objects (and phenomena such as sensory experience) as they exist outside for granted, without considering that they are always perceived as part of a human sensual experience or merely as objects of contemplation such as "think of a chair". They are never taken to mean something that is perceived in practice as humans interact with the world, they are forgetting the subjective aspect of the interaction between Subject and Object.

>Hence it happened that the active side, in opposition to materialism, was developed by idealism — but only abstractly, since, of course, idealism does not know real, sensuous activity as such.

Here Marx is alluding to previous idealists such as Kant who do not presuppose to know "the real" Object outside the Subject (the object in itself, noumenon), but merely the phenomenal aspect of the Object, never the object in itself. Idealists could never say that such an Object exists outside subjective sensory experience since it only exists as phenomena that is perceived by the self. So Marx is saying that the idealists developed this "active" side of actually experiencing said phenomena that materialists have rejected in favor of assuming objects exist independent of the human sensory experience we have with them.

>Feuerbach wants sensuous objects [phenomenal objects], differentiated from thought-objects, but he does not conceive human activity itself as objective activity.

Marx is saying that Feuerbach identifies that there are "objective things" and things as we think them. But he doesn't make the connection that human activity is also an objective activity, or rather, an objective thing. Feuerbach doesn't yet consider the fact that human activity, including thought, is part of the objective whole. I think Feuerbach is proposing a typical modern-day interpretation of science. Matter exists outside and we use our instruments and theories to interpret it, but modern-day interpretation of science does not take into consideration that the activity of doing science itself is embedded in a historical context and is primarily a human activity.

>In "The Essence of Christianity", he therefore regards the theoretical attitude as the only genuinely human attitude, while practice [Praxis] is conceived and defined only in its dirty-Jewish form of appearance ["the down and dirty form of appearence"]. Hence he does not grasp the significance of ‘revolutionary’, of ‘practical-critical’, activity.

I had a lot of trouble with this last part. It helps to know that the thesis are usually divided in parts for didactic purposes, with the thesis 1, 2, and 3 being under the title "Unity of Theory and Practice in Thought". Here Marx is criticizing that Feuerbach could not realize that the bogus separation between theory and praxis. For example, in modern-day interpretations of science, we think in models and we think in scientific "laws", but how those play out in real life are "dirty details". The problem with this view is that it completely ignores the context in which these models and scientific laws were developed. From "The German Ideology": "Feuerbach speaks in particular of the perception of natural science; he mentions secrets which are disclosed only to the eye of the physicist and chemist; but where would natural science be without industry and commerce?" Here we see the idea that there is a unity between "the dirty details" and the models that "arise" from it's observation, because human experience is part of precisely those "dirty details".


From the third thesis:
>Hence this doctrine is bound to divide society into two parts, one of which is superior to society.
I didn't get this part. Is Marx saying that society is divided into two parts, educator and educated?
>The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-change [Selbstveränderung] can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionary practice.
This is a pretty cool thought. Self-educating and actively changing one's world is a revolutionary practice.


File: 1612769099089.png (51.18 KB, 1170x220, ClipboardImage.png)

mood rn


Just posting shit at this point.


Questions for discussion:
1. Surely the whole point of materialism is that the thing exists independently of consciousness, or practice for that matter? Isn’t this statement by Marx idealist?
2. How can Marx praise the idealists for developing the active side? Isn’t it the materialists that are trying to change the world rather than relying on “ideas”?
3. What is the significance of “revolutionary”, of “practical-critical”, activity?

Questions for discussion:
4. If “the question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question”, what is the place for theory?

Questions for discussion:
5. Is the “materialist doctrine” referred to a valid one? Why does Marx say that it divides society into two parts? Can you give examples from present-day politics of this kind of thinking and how it must “divide society into two parts”?
6. What exactly does Marx means, then, by “revolutionary practice”?

Questions for discussion:
7. Can you give an example of “resolving the religious world into its secular basis”?
8. What does this Thesis tell us about how the hold of bourgeois ideology on the working class can be broken, other than by waiting for the revolution to abolish capital?

Questions for discussion:
9. Can you justify the assertion that “Sensuousness is practical, human-sensuous activity”?

Questions for discussion:
10. What is meant by “the human essence is … the ensemble of the social relations”?
11. How does Feuerbach’s position “presuppose an abstract - isolated - human individual”?

Questions for discussion:
12. Why does Marx say a “particular form of society”?

Questions for discussion:
13. “All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice” But surely if we want to understand Nature we must study Nature, not human practice. Isn’t this a positivist or idealist position?

Questions for discussion:
14. Why does “contemplative materialism” lead to “contemplation of single individuals and of civil society”?
15. What is the specific thing that the idealists, who as Marx said, have “developed the active side”, have been able to bring out, which gets away from “contemplation of single individuals and of civil society”?

Questions for discussion:
16. What can be meant by “the standpoint of social humanity”?

Questions for discussion:
17. Either Thesis XI is a declaration of the uselessness of philosophy, and interpreting the world in general, or it is saying something more. In the light of the previous ten theses, what do you think it means?


File: 1612815747288.pdf (148.01 KB, 212x300, Theses on Feuerbach (Worke….pdf)

Here's a link to the Trot version as well as a copy of the PDF.
It contains additional material:
<Short bio on Ludwig Feuerbach
<Background notes on Theses
<A passage on Feuerbach from The German Ideology
<Engels' version of Theses



File: 1613004560011.jpg (110.29 KB, 769x1024, angelic-six.jpg)

What's the /haz/ take on radical empiricism?


didn't TAIMUR have a take on this?


IDK but "William James" sounds pretty anglo.


>In concrete terms: Any philosophical worldview is flawed if it stops at the physical level and fails to explain how meaning, values and intentionality can arise from that.
ha, that's easy! the physical level, we call "material base", and it's the principal aspect of a contradiction. the secondary aspect is made of "meaning, values and intentionality" and hence also religion, ethics, law, politics, culture, which we call "superstructure". because the base is principal, it has the greater effect on superstructure than vice versa, but both do affect one another in a dialectical manner as any two aspects of a contradiction would.


I don't know if I'm reading correctly, but this is basically a caricature of what Kant and Hegel thought was exactly wrong with empiricism. we as subjects of a particular time and place attribute more meaning to empirical observation (phenomena) than what's actually there. I don't really see any arguments as to why we need to remove "trans-empirical" support from our worldview. it sounds like this guy is some kind of butthurt astrologist trying to reinforce superstition. it's like empiricism but worse.
how does any of what you said relate to what you quoted?

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