The Concept of Work in Maria Montessori and Karl Marx

Abstract
Surprising as it may appear, the philosophical writings of political economist Karl Marx (1818–1883), and those of philosopher, educator Maria Montessori(1870–1952), show thematic resemblances that invite further exploration. These resemblances reflect both keen awareness of the historical period they shared, but also important common threads in their philosophical anthropology, ethical and political values, and goals. In this paper, I examine one central thread which both take as fundamental, namely, the centrality of work in achieving the harmonious development of humankind. I critique Marx’s description of the dynamic process leading to his classless society, because he fails to supply the proximate, efficient cause or middle term that effects this goal. My thesis is that Montessori supplies this missing causal link through her scientific demonstration of the work and function of the child and her holistic understanding of the human person in its full historical dimension, and human and cosmic telos
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