Asian Philosophy 31 (4):385-401 (2021)

Dawid Rogacz
Adam Mickiewicz University
ABSTRACT It is commonly assumed that historical materialism was first developed by Karl Marx, whose philosophy is often equated with this idea. The following paper challenges this opinion by showing that historical materialism, understood as a general position within the philosophy of history, can be traced back to two generally unheralded Chinese thinkers: Liu Zongyuan and Li Gou. Historical materialism is here understood as a standpoint built on three tenets: a belief in the dependence of culture on the material fundaments of social life; the interpretation of human history through the prism of structural transformations; and understanding political and economic relationships in terms of antagonism between social groups. After elaborating upon the presence of these tenets in the thought of Liu and Li, the paper analyzes the influence of their ideas and, finally, points out the main differences between the premodern and modern forms of historical materialism.
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DOI 10.1080/09552367.2021.1924437
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Idealization.Leszek Nowak - 1982 - Studies in Soviet Thought 24 (1):72-75.
Neo-Confucianism in History.Peter Kees Bol - 2008 - Harvard University Press.

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