The young Karl Marx: German philosophy, modern politics, and human flourishing (review)

Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):479-480 (2009)
David Leopold positions this work as "for a new generation of readers who no longer feel obliged to swallow Marx whole." He does not mention the more powerful and widespread pressure—to ignore or distort Marx. This is an antidotally meticulous, if somewhat Talmudic, study of the young Marx. Its first chapter is a historical introduction to the corpus of Marx's early work and its complex history of posthumous publication. Its second and third chapters situate his ideas within the German philosophy of the period, spelling out its differences from Hegel and Bruno Bauer . The fourth chapter entitled "Human flourishing" is very much the most interesting. No concept is so widely incanted by contemporary philosophers and so lacking in principled ground, while no work is more suggestive here than the early Marx's. The fifth and final chapter is Leopold's "Epilogue," which usefully reviews the book's general argument.The young Marx has long inspired interest because his critique of capitalism and political economy is so dynamically emancipatory in its naturalist humanism. Leopold is not moved. To give a paradigmatic taste of his treatment, he excoriates a very famous passage of the young Marx—"Communism . . . is the
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DOI 10.1353/hph.0.0142
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Arno Wouters (1993). Marx's Embryology of Society. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 23 (2):149-179.
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