MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Terms




A philosophical term concerned with the relativity of perception and the difference between immediately given sensual knowledge and conceptual knowledge of the lawfulness of things. Appearance is the dialectic of Form and Content, the recognition of the difference between them. In Hegel’s Logic, Appearance is the second grade of Essence, moving beyond the recognition of the outer form of a thing to its lawful, inner character or content. Appearance is a modification of Being which includes Essence but is transient and unstable, because it is still partial or abstractly one-sided.

See Lenin’s comments on Hegel’s concept of Appearance, Hegel’s critique of Kant in the Shorter Logic, the section in Hegel’s Outline of Logic and Geoff Pilling's discussion of Marx's attitude towards bourgeois concepts of political economy as stages in the development of a scientific concept, Hegel's critique of Kant in the Shorter Logic or the section in Hegel's Outline of Logic and Form & Content, and Existence - Appearance - Essential Relation.