The Owl of Minerva 19 (2):131-148 (1988)

David A. Duquette
St. Norbert College
The thesis of this study is that the methodology in Marx that is appropriate for viewing socio-historical development in a structured framework, and also for capturing the dynamic role of practice in history, is one which goes beyond the ordinary traditional methods of empirical science and which has its roots in Hegel’s system of philosophy. In my view, the mistake of the traditional Marxist handling of Hegel lies in the attempt to divorce his method from his system, with the aim of salvaging a dialectics that could be wedded to a philosophical materialism. However, Marx’s own statement of his opposition to Hegel did not imply the rejection of a systematically controlled form of explanation but instead was aimed at Hegel’s method in order to criticize its particular systematic standpoint as expressed in the self-legitimating “Idea.” Properly understood, the inversion of Hegel, this placing of Hegel “on his feet,” leads not to a “dialectical materialism,” which ostensibly substitutes the material for the ideal as the concern of dialectics, but rather results in the grounding of the ideal in the critical endeavor of political economy, as opposed to what Marx saw as Hegel’s uncritical enterprise of a cultural ideology.
Keywords Major Philosophers
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ISBN(s) 0030-7580
DOI 10.5840/owl19881926
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