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Ethics and the Materialist Conception of History (Classic Reprint)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Ethics and the Materialist Conception of History (Classic Reprint).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Karl Kautsky(Author)

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PREFACE Like so many other Marxist publications the present one owes its origin to a special occasion, it arose out of a controversy. The polemic in which I was involved last Autumn with the editors of Vorwarts brought me to touch on the question of their " ethical tendencies." What I said, however, on this point was so often misunderstood by one side, and on the other brought me so many requests to give a more thorough and systematic exposition of my ideas on Ethics, that I felt constrained to attempt at least to give a short sketch of the development of Ethics on the basis of the materialist conception of history. I take as my starting point, consequentiy, that materialist philosophy which was founded on one side by Marx and Engels, on the other, though in the same spirit, by Joseph Dietzgen. For the results at which I have arrived I alone am responsible. My original intention only got so far as to write an article for the " Neue Zeit" on the subject. But never had I so miscalc

Table of Contents

I, ANCIENT AND CHRISTIAN ETHICS ... n

II. THE ETHICAL SYSTEMS OF THE PERIOD OF

THE ENLIGHTENMENT ...... 26

III. THE ETHICS OF KANT:

1 The Criticism of Knowledge ... 35

2 The Moral Law 46

3 Freedom and Necessity 59

4 The Philosophy of Reconciliation . . 65

iV. THE ETHICS OF DARWINISM :

1 The Struggle for Existence ... 70

2 Self-Movement and Intelligence . . 76

3 The Motives of Self-Maintenance and

Propagation 84

4 The Social Instinct 89

V. THE ETHICS OF MARXISM :

^ I The Roots of the Materialist Concep
tion of Hist

PREFACE Like so many other Marxist publications the present one owes its origin to a special occasion, it arose out of a controversy. The polemic in which I was involved last Autumn with the editors of Vorwarts brought me to touch on the question of their " ethical tendencies." What I said, however, on this point was so often misunderstood by one side, and on the other brought me so many requests to give a more thorough and systematic exposition of my ideas on Ethics, that I felt constrained to attempt at least to give a short sketch of the development of Ethics on the basis of the materialist conception of history. I take as my starting point, consequentiy, that materialist philosophy which was founded on one side by Marx and Engels, on the other, though in the same spirit, by Joseph Dietzgen. For the results at which I have arrived I alone am responsible. My original intention only got so far as to write an article for the " Neue Zeit" on the subject. But never had I so miscalcTable of Contents I, ANCIENT AND CHRISTIAN ETHICS ... n II. THE ETHICAL SYSTEMS OF THE PERIOD OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT ...... 26 III. THE ETHICS OF KANT: 1 The Criticism of Knowledge ... 35 2 The Moral Law 46 3 Freedom and Necessity 59 4 The Philosophy of Reconciliation . . 65 iV. THE ETHICS OF DARWINISM : 1 The Struggle for Existence ... 70 2 Self-Movement and Intelligence . . 76 3 The Motives of Self-Maintenance and Propagation 84 4 The Social Instinct 89 V. THE ETHICS OF MARXISM : ^ I The Roots of the Materialist Concep tion of Hist

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Book details

  • PDF | 214 pages
  • Karl Kautsky(Author)
  • Forgotten Books (June 20, 2012)
  • English
  • 7
  • Politics & Social Sciences

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Review Text

  • By Marc Lichtman on December 11, 2016

    This important work by Kautsky (written when he was still a Marxist) traces the evolution of philosophy from ancient times to the present (written in 1906), along with the evolution of humans (first biological, then social), and seeks to find a Marxist approach to ethics.But the definitive book on the ethics of Marxism is Trotsky's Their Morals and Ours, and other of the themes Kautsky takes up can be found in more modern, more readable form in George Novack's writings on history and philosophy, in particular Humanism and Socialism,The Origins of Materialism: The Evolution of a Scientific View of the World,Democracy and Revolution, and Understanding History: Marxist Essays.While Kautsky wrote a number of good historical works, the one that endures is Foundations of Christianity: A study in Christian origins.


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