Flew, Marx and Gnosticism

Philosophy 68 (263):94 - 98 (1993)
Professor Flew has recently sought to demolish the philosophical pretensions of Marx and the Marxists by the use of Hume's Fork and Popper's demand for falsifiable consequences. Marx tried to derive matters of ‘fact and existence’ from ‘relations of ideas’, which Hume's Fork states to be impossible. From this and not from empirical study, he derived predictions for the future course of history which neither he nor his followers have ever properly tested by empirical enquiries. Nor have they ever provided any clear, unambiguous and therefore testable formulations of those predictions. In particular, Flew claims, they have never given any concrete content to the central notion of ‘alienation’ such that an Index of Alienation could be drawn up and enquiries could be made as to whether, for example, the workers are more or less alienated under the private or public ownership of factories. Both faults stem from Marx's continuation of German, specifically Hegelian, philosophy
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