[OPE-L:2795] Marx and Hegel

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Sun Apr 09 2000 - 19:31:56 EDT

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In [OPE-L:2791], Rakesh mentions perspectives by Postone, Rosenthal, and
listmember Tony S on the relationship of Hegel to Marx.

You mention perspectives from many *secondary* sources, but until you have
actually *read Hegel* you rely on the judgment of other authors, or what
"seems convincing to me", rather than *your own* judgment.

Marxists have rightly condemned those who have attacked Marx without
bothering to read Marx seriously and basing their information on
secondary sources. Aren't you, and many others, doing the same with

Besides, I don't get what the big problem is here. It's true that certain
works by Hegel make pretty tough reading imo (e.g. _The Phenomenology of
Spirit_ and the _Science of Logic_), but other basic works such as the
_Logic_ and _Philosophy of Mind_ (being parts 1 and 2 respectively of the
_Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences_) and the _Philosophy of
Right_ make pretty easy reading. Indeed, Hegel's writing style and the
internal structure of these works makes it comparatively easy to
follow and identify his logic, imo.

It is true that reading Hegel may, like reading Marx, be best done when
part of a "study group". Perhaps we could organize this when others have
the time and if one of more people could take some type of responsibility
for co-ordinating the readings and group discussion.

In the above I am not saying that one can't understand a lot of Marx
without reading Hegel (Fred is a good example of how this need not be the
case) or that I am *by any means* an expert on Hegel. All I am saying,
though, is that if you want to -- ultimately -- make a meaningful and
scholarly accessment of Hegel's influence on Marx, then part of what one
needs to do is *read Hegel*. Why should this be such a controversial

btw, I recommended back in the Spring of 1995 (if my memory is correct)
on the long since defunct "marxism" list that you read Hegel. Evidently,
you have read numerous books *about* Hegel & Marx since. If you
could find time for that reading, why weren't you able to find time to
read some of the primary sources *by* Hegel?

In solidarity, Jerry

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