Gnoseology and ontology of Marxism

Marxist epistemology has significantly enriched the materialistic version of the classical concept. Its further development by the classics of Marxism consisted primarily in substantiating the objective nature of truth, which is determined by the objectivity of the material world. Of course, truth does not exist outside of human cognition, and in this sense it depends on the subject of cognition. However, the correspondence and discrepancy between the results of the cognitive process and the aspects and properties of the material world is determined by objective reality. Creative imagination, with the help of conceptual means, creates various pictures of reality, but what is true and what is false in these pictures no longer depends either on the individual or on the whole of humanity. In this sense, truth is objective. Individuals and even entire nations may be carried away by a certain doctrine, believe in it, and passionately desire that the whole world consider it to be true, but if it does not correspond to the real state of things, it will be objectively false and sooner or later will be revealed. Recognition of the objective nature of truth is one of the fundamental differences between the Marxist theory of truth and the pragmatist theory.

Dialectical materialism bases its ontology on the assertion that neither any substance, nor any “substance” of this or that substance, etc., is and cannot be represented as universal. This statement corresponds to the position of the qualitative inexhaustibility of matter both in depth and in breadth, which, therefore, only nature as such, existing outside and independently of human cognition, eternally changing and infinitely diverse, is absolute.

37. Marxism is the knowledge that was introduced into science by K. Marx and F. Engels. The most important achievements of Marxism are the discovery of the formational development of society and the creation of the theory of surplus value. In the USSR, Marxism was not subject to criticism, although some shortcomings in it were already obvious then. The communist manifesto stated that with the development of capitalism, the proletariat would become impoverished. The proletariat was declared the grave-digger of the bourgeoisie. It was argued that capitalism had reached the end of its natural development. The real course of history did not confirm such a forecast. True, capitalism has not outlived its vices: unemployment and cyclical development of the economy. But the proletarians do not absolutely become impoverished, in developed countries they coexist quite peacefully with the bourgeoisie, and capitalism is progressing both in the field of production and in the social direction, using significant taxes on social programs. Marxism helps to realistically assess situations in economics and sociology. For example, only Marxism provides an understanding of the cyclical development of the capitalist economy. Therefore, science is interested in correcting this knowledge, taking into account the real course of history.

38. MARXISM, philosophical, economic and political doctrine, the founders of which are K. Marx and F. Engels. Based on the study of German classical philosophy (Hegel, Feuerbach, etc.), English political economy (Smith, Ricardo, etc.), French utopian socialism (Saint-Simon, Fourier, etc.), Marx and Engels developed dialectical materialism, the theory of surplus value and the doctrine of communism. Society in Marxism is considered as an organism in the structure of which the productive forces determine production relations, forms of ownership, which in turn determine the class structure of society, politics, the state, law, morality, philosophy, religion, art. The unity and interaction of these spheres form a certain socio-economic formation; their development and change constitute the process of progressive movement of society. The struggle of the ruling and oppressed classes is the driving force of history, and its highest expression is the social revolution. Capitalism is the last exploitative formation that creates powerful incentives for the development of society, but gradually turns into an obstacle to its progress. Under capitalism, the proletariat matures, overthrowing the rule of the bourgeoisie and establishing its own power, with the help of which the transition to communism is carried out (the destruction of private property and the establishment of public property, the creation of a classless society and conditions for the free development of the individual).


Freud’s teachings received a peculiar development in such a direction of social philosophy as Freudo-Marxism. It is an eclectic, that is, devoid of internal unity, combination of the teachings of Freud and Marx.

The most prominent representatives of Freudo-Marxism are Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) and Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979). They, along with other Freudo-Marxists, declare the struggle of unconscious instincts (to life and death, pleasure and destruction) as the main factor determining human behavior, interpersonal relationships and the development of society.

They assign a special role to sexual desires and sexual relations.

Sexual energy is seen as the most important driving force of human activity, a source of creative inspiration, “emotional confidence” and “mental stability”. Of course, this takes place in cases where sexual energy has a free outlet, is not suppressed by certain conditions, mainly social ones. A sexually unsatisfied individual “subjectively enters into a deep contradiction with society”, is alienated from it, “plunges into a state of loneliness and isolation.”

This approach is eclectically connected with the Marxist doctrine of the social nature of man, the role of social relations and social institutions in his development and behavior. The development of society is explained, in particular, by the process of “converting the energy of impulses into the socially useful energy of labor.”

Political relations, according to Freudo-Marxists, are also formed under the influence of people’s sexual energy. It is argued, for example, that the dominance of one person over another, including political domination, is due to people’s tendency to masochism and sadism. Masochism manifests itself “in the pleasurable submission to various kinds of authorities”, and sadism – in the desire to turn a person into “a helpless object of one’s own will, to become his tyrant, his god, to treat him as he pleases.”

It also speaks of the decisive influence of sexuality on the development of morality and art.

Pointing to some positive properties of culture, especially art, Freudo-Marxists at the same time emphasize its repressive impact on the vital needs and desires of people. In his work “Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Study on Freud” G. Marcuse develops ideas about the guilt of culture for the suffering of people, the suppression of their desire for happiness as for the enjoyment of life. He interprets the historical process as “a constantly renewed struggle between a repressive civilization and man’s desire for pleasure.” This is the main repression of civilization, aimed at suppressing the primary biological instincts.

Marcuse also speaks of additional repression in relation to a person by socio-political and state-legal institutions and institutions that fix a person “as an instrument of alienated labor.”

G. Marcuse, W. Reich and other Freudo-Marxists raise the question of overcoming the alienation of man from society, referring to well-known provisions

Marx on the need to transform social relations. However, they see the basis for resolving this issue again in the sphere of sexuality.

Thus, Marcuse believes that overcoming the alienation of labor can be achieved by converting sexual energy into the energy of labor as a play of the creative forces of man. W. Reich develops the same ideas in his concept of “sexual economy”: “To live sex-economically means to freely satisfy your desires, avoiding prohibitions, social taboos.”

G. Marcuse put forward the idea of a “third way” for the development of society (non-capitalist and non-socialist), which could lead to the creation of a “non-repressive civilization”, in which the activities and behavior of people will be controlled by the “vital energy of love”. The very needs and inclinations of people, as the deepest sources of their social activity, will undergo social changes and become more noble. In this regard, Marcuse speaks of a revolution of needs and drives, which will result in a new culture based on

39. Positivism is a philosophical doctrine and direction in the methodology of science, which defines empirical research as the only source of true, real knowledge and denies the cognitive value of philosophical research. Positivism is the main thesis: all genuine (positive) knowledge is the cumulative result of special sciences

Isidore Marie Auguste Francois Xavier Comte was a French philosopher. Founder of positivism. The founder of sociology as an independent science. His main works are the Cours de philosophie positive, vols. 1-6, 1830-1842, which brought him the greatest fame, and The System of Positive Politics, or Treatise on Sociology, Establishing the Religion of Mankind (vols. 1-6). 4, 1851-1854).

John Stuart Mill is a British philosopher, economist and politician. He made a significant contribution to social science, political science and political economy. He made a fundamental contribution to the philosophy of liberalism. Defended the concept of individual freedom as opposed to unlimited state control[3]. He was a supporter of the ethical teachings of utilitarianism. There is an opinion that Mill was the most notable English-speaking philosopher of the 19th century.

Herbert Spencer – English philosopher and sociologist, one of the founders of evolutionism, whose ideas were very popular at the end of the 19th century, the founder of the organic school in sociology; ideologue of liberalism. His sociological views are a continuation of the sociological views of Saint-Simon and Comte; Lamarck and K. Baer, Smith and Malthus had a certain influence on the development of the idea of evolution.

The positivists combined the logical and empirical methods into a single scientific method.

The main goal of positivism is the acquisition of objective knowledge

Positivism influenced the methodology of the natural and social sciences (especially in the second half of the 19th century

Positivism criticized natural-philosophical constructs that imposed on science inadequate speculative images of the objects and processes it studied. However, the positivists transferred this criticism to philosophy as a whole. This is how the idea of cleansing science from metaphysics arose. The essence of the positivist concept of the relationship between philosophy and science is reflected in O. Comte’s phrase: “Science is philosophy itself.” However, many positivists believed in the possibility of constructing a “good” scientific philosophy. Such a philosophy was to become a special sphere of concrete scientific knowledge; it should not differ from other sciences in its method. In the course of the development of positivism, various theories were put forward for the role of scientific philosophy: the methodology of science (Comte, Mill), the scientific picture of the world (Spencer), the psychology of scientific creativity and scientific thinking (Mach, Duhem), the logical analysis of the language of science (Schlick, Russell, Carnap) , linguistic analysis of language (Ryle, Austin, late Wittgenstein), logical-empirical reconstruction of the dynamics of science (Popper, Lakatos). However, all the above variants of positive philosophy were criticized, first of all, by the positivists themselves, since, firstly, as it turned out, they did not satisfy the criteria of scientific character proclaimed by the positivists themselves, and, secondly, they relied explicitly (and more often implicitly) certain “metaphysical” premises.

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