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Re: [xmca] Where is thinking


I don't see the mixing of Hegelian and existentialist concepts as
problematic. Existentialism started with Kierkegaard, right? He was writing
a kind of anti-Hegelianism, in which rather than there being a logic that
guarantees the movement of spirit, there are moments in which a leap is
necessary. He wrote of a "leap of faith" but (just as with Hegel) a secular
reading is possible. These are the moments when humans must choose, without
guarantees, without certainty, without transparent rationality.

So existentialism has always had ties to Hegel. The existential-Marxists, it
seems to me, were rediscovering in Marx what Michael just mentioned, a place
for agency on the level of the individual. That has been a valuable
counterpoint to those readings that find in Marx, like Hegel, only an
anonymous movement to the historical process in which no genuine choices are


On 4/21/09 10:28 AM, "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> I'm actually quite fond of Sartre, Martin, and I appreciate
> his efforts in "Critique of Dialectical Reason" to make
> something like an activity reading of Hegel. It is the
> eclectic mixing up of Existentialist concepts with Marxist
> or Hegelian concepts that I object to. What does "Being"
> mean? It depends doesn't it, whether you are reading Hegel,
> Engels or Heidegger. I can't cope with mixing up these
> sources indiscriminately.
> There may be differences between French and German Marxism,
> but I think we are here talking about post-WW2 Marxism, yes?
> and the particular experiences of Algeria, 1968, Berlin, the
> PCF, etc., and Kojeve. And there is no doubt that the legacy
> of the French Revolution still figures hugely in France.
> But I really think this has little to do with a reading by
> Marx or French Marxists of the master-servant narrative at
> any time earlier than 1933.
> For a start, the Phenomenology had not even been translated
> into French until 1939. So a knowledge of the master-servant
> narrative was kept to a pretty small group in France. A few
> professional philosophers like Koyre and Hyppolite.
> When I started up the Hegel-by-HyperText website in 1999, it
> intrigued me that I got mail from two quite distinct groups
> of people. One of these groups I just could not understand
> what they were talking about. After a while I realised that
> these were people who had read Kojeve or were reading Hegel
> in the wake of Kojeve. This is a completely different
> philosopher than the one I learnt as a Marxist, reading
> Marxists texts and then moving on from Marx, Lenin and
> Lukacs to study Hegel's Logic. This other group only knew
> these 2% of Hegel's first book. The other group usually knew
> only the Logic and Philosophy of Right, the books that Marx,
> Engels, Lenin, Lukacs & Co. commented on.
> Why not read my book Martin? Much easier to read than the
> Phenomenology!
> Andy

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