Conceptual Thought as Critique: Remarks on Hegel and Marx

Frank Ruda (Translator), Andreas Arndt

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    The young Marx argued that Hegel defended an uncritical view of reality by taking empirical existence to be the truth of the idea. In his reproach, Marx puts the relationship between logic and ‘Realphilosophie’ in Hegel’s philosophy into question. According to him, Hegel subjects’ society and the state to a logical schematism instead of grasping them in their own logic. In this paper, I examine Marx’s reproach and argue that Hegel does by no means suggest an affirmative view of reality. In particular, his view of the dialectical method can be understood as critical, in the sense that Marx had in mind. At the same time, however, ambiguities and ambivalences remain in Hegel’s work. At decisive points in the Philosophy of Right, and partly in the Lectures on the Philosophy of Right, the critical function of the dialectical method appears to be weak. Hegel’s method thus remains ambiguous with regard to the possibilities and also the necessities of a critique of reality, especially with regard to the institutionalization of social and political conflicts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)22-38
    Number of pages17
    JournalCrisis and Critique
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2021


    • Logic
    • Method
    • Marx Philosophy of Right
    • Science of Logic


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