Aristotle, Kant, and the Ethics of the Young Marx (1835–1843)

Philip J. Kain

in Marx and Ethics

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239321
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679896 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Aristotle, Kant, and the Ethics of the Young Marx (1835–1843)

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This chapter argues that the views of young Karl Marx on ethics have been influenced not only by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel but even more so by Aristotle and Immanuel Kant. Marx draws away from Hegel's concept of essence towards one in some ways more like Aristotle's and he operates with a concept of universalisation similar to that found in Kant's categorical imperative. At the same time, Marx's task is to reconcile these Aristotelian and Kantian elements. Eventually, Marx's doctrine of historical materialism leads him to abandon these elements and indeed to reject all morality as ideological illusion. This chapter examines what morality means for the young Marx as well as his concepts of freedom, essence, and the state.

Keywords: Karl Marx; ethics; Aristotle; Immanuel Kant; essence; freedom; state; universalisation; morality

Chapter.  18052 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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