From: cyrilsmith- at (Mr C Smith)

A brief comment on Andy's comment on Hakan.

As an ex-Marxist, re-examining Marx, I want to disagree strongly with the idea that Marx 'took the development of the bourgeoisie's theory of knowledge to a new height'. Marx's relation to all bourgeois thought was one of 'negation/preservation' (Aufheben). He was not involved in the impossible project of a 'theory of knowledge' - impossible, because the theorist can never tell you whether the theory is itself knowledge. To provoke all you philosophical 'Marxists' a bit more, Marx was not engaged in constructing a theory of anything, ever. A theory must separate subject from object, and take for granted a world where this separation is a part of a way of life which is thereby a denial of true humanity. Hegel knew all this, and then forgot it, when he tried to reconcile all the contradictions in the Absolute.

Ethics is not 'an issue' for Marx, it is the essence of his entire work. But he had to transform it, along with all philosophical problems, into a question for practice. By the way, 'practice' does not mean a bit of activity, to relieve the 'Marxist' from the boredom of 'theory'. It means the way that human relations are consciously made and remade. (I think that Marx's praxis is Aristotle's praxis. Its science is phronesis, translated as 'practical wisdom'. See Ethics, Book six, chapter eight, for example.)