[xmca] Marx's contradiction

From: <ERIC.RAMBERG who-is-at spps.org>
Date: Wed Feb 13 2008 - 07:54:53 PST

I thought I had posted this prior but looking back on the listserve I did
not spot it. I would be curious to know if people are interested or

 Marx's statement in Theses is as follows:

            Feuerbach, who does not enter upon a criticism of this real

      essence, is consequently compelled:

1. To abstract from the historical process and to fix the religious
sentiment as something by itself and to presuppose an abstract ? isolated ?
human individual.
2. Essence, therefore, can be comprehended only as "genus", as an
internal, dumb generality which naturally unites the many individuals.
Marx chooses to "remove" this definition of essence and replace it with
human activity.

The contradiction being that that he denies what Spinoza points out about

                  God necessarily exists, argues Spinoza, because God's

      essence is existence. God's essence is perfect, and therefore God's

      perfection implies that God must exist. God's essence and existence

      are the same (I, Prop. XX). Each attribute which expresses God's

      essence also expresses God's existence.

Further on Spinoza places essence within human activity as proof of human's
existence. This at the point may well be just interpretations of God (Marx
uses Nature instead of God and Hegel uses Spirit) but nonetheless the
kernel of truth is that essence is activity. Where I believe that
contradiction stands out is when Spinoza utilizes the comparison of two
right angles equally the degrees of a triangle. Picture an open ended
rectangle consisting of a line segment and two rays. Any activity
rendering one ray to create an acute angle and no longer are their two
right angles but rather a triangle. Essence is maintained both within the
two right angles as well as the triangle, however, the two right angles
represent perfect essence and the triangle represents actively created
essence. The two right angles may be represented but the construction of a
ray is impossible.

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Received on Wed Feb 13 07:56 PST 2008

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