From ProleWiki, the proletarian encyclopedia

Philosophy is a broad range of exercises in thought with the ultimate goal of to unmasking parts of the world. According to Marx, "It is the immediate task of philosophy, which is in the service of history, to unmask self-estrangement in its unholy forms once the holy form of human self-estrangement has been unmasked."[1]

Hegel described philosophy as the science that "is the unity of art and religion" and as "cognition of the necessity in the content of the absolute picture-idea."[2][3]

Ancient philosophy[edit | edit source]

Chinese philosophy[edit | edit source]

Confucianism[edit | edit source]

See main article: Confucianism

Daoism[edit | edit source]

Greek philosophy[edit | edit source]

Ionian school[edit | edit source]

Thales founded Ionian materialism and believed that water was the basis of all things in nature. His follower Anaximander predicted the existence of evolution based on the fossil record. Another materialist, Anaximenes, proposed that air was the primary building block of the universe.[4]

Heraclitus[edit | edit source]

Heraclitus was one of the first dialectical philosophers in history. He created the aphorism that "you cannot step into the same river twice" and rejected the existence of the gods.[4]

Epicureanism[edit | edit source]

Democritus and Epicurus proposed that all things were made of atoms. Democritus's view was more deterministic, whereas Epicurus believed atoms would "swerve" randomly. Epicurus believed that this attraction and repulsion created the world. Marx wrote his dissertation in 1841 on the differences between Democritean and Epicurean philosophy.[5]

Plato[edit | edit source]

Stoicism[edit | edit source]

Classical bourgeois philosophy[edit | edit source]

Rationalism[edit | edit source]

The rationalists, led by René Descartes, criticized feudalism and the Catholic Church. He coined the phrase "I think therefore I am" and believed everything, including religion, should follow human reason. His ideas were progressive even though they relied on deductive reasoning instead of objective reality.[6]

Empiricism[edit | edit source]

David Hume and the empiricists believed experience from the senses was the only source of knowledge. They thought knowledge was merely a collection of facts that could not be generalized or processed.[6]

Mechanism[edit | edit source]

Mechanists rejected internal contradictions and believed that all motion was caused by outside forces. They were also very determinist and often believed that philosophy was useless due to advances in science. Notable mechanists included Lyubov Axelrod, Nikolai Bukharin and O. Minin. The April 1929 meeting of the Second All-Union Conference of Marxist–Leninist Scientific Institutions rejected mechanism.[7]

German idealism[edit | edit source]

Dualism[edit | edit source]

Immanuel Kant tried to unify rationalism and empiricism by claiming that the material and ideal worlds exist separately and independently. He said the material world exists outside of human consciousness.[6]

Monism[edit | edit source]

Hegel overcame Kant's dualism and proposed that ideas and material conditions are part of the same world. He believed that an absolute idea developed dialectically and influenced the material world. His philosophy was a major step forward but was flawed because it prioritized ideas over material reality.[6]

Proletarian philosophy[edit | edit source]

Marx and Engels[edit | edit source]

Marx once stated that "As philosophy finds its material weapon in the proletariat, so the proletariat finds its spiritual weapon in philosophy."[1] It was Marx who first brought philosophy from the bourgeois world into the proletarian side, and fashioned it into a weapon for the proletariat.

Of philosophy Marx states that "You cannot abolish philosophy without making it a reality,"[1] and perhaps more famously that "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it,"[8] marking the distinction between proletarian and bourgeois philosophy.

Lenin[edit | edit source]

Mao[edit | edit source]

Contemporary bourgeois philosophy[edit | edit source]

Existentialism[edit | edit source]

Existentialism emerged in the 19th century with conservative thinkers such as Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky and generally rejected the possibility of social change. Existentialists believe that individuals are fundamentally in opposition to the world. Jean-Paul Sartre, a 20th-century existentialist, criticized capitalism but nevertheless believed that revolution was either impossible or would recreate the same problems caused by capitalism.[9]

Irrationalism[edit | edit source]

Irrationalism was widespread in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and criticized the Enlightenment values of materialism, progress, reason, and science. It rejected dialectics and was deeply reactionary. Major irrationalists include Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Sorel, Heidegger, and Schmitt, the last three of which openly supported fascism. Hitler himself stated that, "We stand at the end of the Age of Reason...A new era of the magical explanation of the world is rising, an explanation based on will rather than knowledge. There is no truth, in either the moral or scientific sense."[10]

Objectivism[edit | edit source]

See main article: Ayn Rand

Postmodernism[edit | edit source]

See main article: Postmodernism

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Karl Marx (1843). A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: 'Introduction'.
  2. G.W.F. Hegel (1971). Hegel's encyclopedia of the philosophical sciences translated by William Wallace: 'Absolute Mind; Philosophy' (p. 302).
  3. Hamid Alizadeh (2020-08-27). "In Defence of Hegel" Socialist Appeal. Archived from the original on 2022-12-01.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sean Ledwith (2023-08-27). "The birth of dialectics in Ancient Greece" Counterfire. Archived from the original on 2023-08-28.
  5. "On Marx and Epicurus" (2018-02-17). International Communist Current. Archived from the original on 2023-07-06.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Hamid Alizadeh (2020-08-27). "In Defence of Hegel" Socialist Appeal. Archived from the original on 2022-12-01.
  7. TheFinnishBolshevik (2022-10-09). "HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY IN THE USSR: Mechanism VS Dialectics (1920s)" ML-Theory. Archived from the original on 2024-03-16.
  8. Karl Marx (1845). Theses On Feuerbach.
  9. Dominic Alexander (2012-12-20). "The Work of Sartre: Search for Freedom and the Challenge of History" Counterfire. Archived from the original on 2022-12-24.
  10. John Bellamy Foster (2023-02-01). "The New Irrationalism" Monthly Review. Archived from the original on 2023-08-06.