Marx's Theory of Historical Materialism 
Marx's Theory of Historical Materialism
by Yale / Ivan Szelenyi
Video Lecture 10 of 25
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Date Added: June 30, 2011

Lecture Description

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.

Reading assignment:
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 Index

Course Description

This course provides an overview of major works of social thought from the beginning of the modern era through the 1920s. Attention is paid to social and intellectual contexts, conceptual frameworks and methods, and contributions to contemporary social analysis. Writers include Hobbes, Locke, Rou... (read more)

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