For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Dialectics of labour: Marx and his relation to Hegel

by Arthur, Christopher John (1986)


This book sets out an interpretation of Marx's 1844 Manuscripts. It will attempt to clarify what is obscure and to complete thoughts Marx left incomplete. A special effort is made to assess Marx's relationship to Hegel, which is one of extraordinary complexity; the influence of Hegel on Marx is enormous, yet Marx's embrace of materialism sets him poles apart from Hegel. Not surprisingly, the matter is a controversial one. The evidence offered by the 1844 Manuscripts of Marx's own understanding of his relation to Hegel has been insufficiently studied (except by GeorgLuk√°cs in his masterly work The Young Hegel), and never properly explicated. The question is not without its importance; for the central role played by labour in Marx's thought, and its character as 'the activity of alienation, the alienation of activity', is much illuminated by tracing Marx's route out of Hegel. Above all, this book aims to bring out fully the dialectical aspects of Marx's thought at this important turning point. The book ends by indicating the continuing importance of the themes of 1844 in Marx's later work.


Marx, Hegel, History Of Philosophy, Alienation



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