SOCY 151 - Lecture 10 - Marx's Theory of Historical Materialism

Lecture 10 - Marx's Theory of Historical Materialism


We review Marx's theory of alienation and pick up with the transition from the young Marx to the mature Marx who breaks with Hegelian thought and the Young Hegelians. Reflecting on the disappointed hopes of the French Revolution, Hegel wrote that the civil servants in France represent the universal class. In direct contrast, Marx writes that the state only appears to be the universal class. He then goes about writing his theory of exploitation to argue that the workers, as the only fully alienated class, represent the universal position. He responds to Feuerbach with his eleven theses arguing for his own brand of historical materialism. Many of his "Theses on Feuerbach" remain very famous and widely-associated with Marx's oeuvre, including the last thesis, thesis eleven: the point of philosophy is not only to understand the world, but to change it.


Marx, Collected Works, "Theses on Feuerbach" vol. 5. pp. 6-8

Marx, Collected Works, "The German ideology" vol. 5. pp. 27-37; 59-62

Course Media





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