Karl Marx, Philosopher

New book by Kurt Bayertz details Marx’s philosophical roots

© C. H. Beck

A new publication by the philosopher Prof. Dr. Kurt Bayertz from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” addresses the philosophical roots of Karl Marx. 200 years after Karl Marx was born, not everything has been said about his thinking, the scholar underlines: “We are still far from an adequate understanding of Marx’s theory, especially where its philosophical foundations are concerned.” According to Prof. Dr. Kurt Bayertz, Marx’s statement that philosophers only interpreted the world differently, while the important thing was to change it, cannot be taken at face value. “Marx concealed the philosophical assumptions of his theory from his readers and probably also from himself. However, critique of philosophy is always philosophy in itself,” says Bayertz. “For Marx has programmatically based himself on a genuine philosophical tradition of thought: materialism.”

In his monograph entitled “Interpretieren, um zu verändern. Karl Marx und seine Philosophie” (Interpreting in Order to Change. Karl Marx and his Philosophy”, published by C. H. Beck, Prof. Dr. Bayertz details the unspoken philosophical assumptions of Marx’s theory, which shape his entire work and can be followed through to his economic writings. “Marx’s concept of political action also remains incomprehensible without his basic philosophical assumptions,” explains the author, who investigates “The materialistic worldview in the European context of the 18th century” in his project at the Cluster of Excellence. Beyond all premature updating, the book aims to lay the foundations for a deeper understanding of Marx’s theory and redetermine its place in the history of thought. (C. H. Beck/sca/vvm)

Reference: Kurt Bayertz: Interpretieren, um zu verändern. Karl Marx und seine Philosophie, München: C. H. Beck, 2018, 272 pages, ISBN 978-3-406-72130-4, 24.95 euros.