Karl Marx Internet Archive
The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature. with an Appendix
Written: March 1841; First Published: 1902; Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works Volume 1; Publisher: Progress Publishers; Transcription/Markup: Andy Blunden; Online Version: Brian Baggins (marxists.org) 2000.
Contents: According to Marx's original Table of Contents
Part One: Difference between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature in General
I. The Subject of the Treatise
II. Opinions on the Relationship Between Democritean and Epicurean Physics
III. Difficulties Concerning the Identity of the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature
IV. General Difference in Principle Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature
Part Two: Difference between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature in detail
Chapter One : The Declination of the Atom from the Straight Line
Chapter Two : The Qualities of the Atom
Chapter Three : Atomoi archai and atoma stoicheia
Chapter Four : Time
Chapter Five : The Meteors
Appendix Critique of Plutarch's Polemic against the Theology of Epicurus
[ Fragment from the Appendix ]
II. Individual Immortality
1. On Religious Feudalism. The Hell of the Populace 2. The Longing of the Multitude 3. The Pride of the Elected
I. On Religious Feudalism. The Hell of the Populace II. Opinions on the Relationship between Democritean and Epicurean Physics (notes) III. Difficulties concerning the Ientity of the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature. (notes) IV. General Difference in Principle between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature
I. The Relationship of Man to God
1. Fear and the Being Beyond 2. Cult and the Individual 3. Providence and the Degraded God
Draft of new Preface Marx's Notebooks on Epicurean Philosophy Editors' Footnotes and Preface , Image of Draft Preface .
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Full text of " Marx, Karl Doctoral Thesis The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature "
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Common terms and phrases
The Hegel-Marx Connection pp 131–145 Cite as
Marx’s Doctoral Dissertation: The Development of a Hegelian Thesis
- Gary K. Browning 2
This essay argues that Marx’s doctoral dissertation presents a Hegelian reading of the natural philosophies of Epicurus and Democritus which serves as important evidence of Marx’s subscription to a Hegelian style of theorising, which informs his later, more famous works. Marx perceives Epicurean atomism to be superior to Democritean atomism in so far as Epicurus registers the self-determining character of thought and reality. A holistic, conceptual perspective is taken to inform Epicurus’ understanding of concepts, nature and self-consciousness. Marx’s preference for Epicurus over Democritus reflects Marx’s own commitment to what Oilman has termed a philosophy of internal relations. 1 Marx takes Epicurus to represent the world as being determined immanently by the principles invoked in its explanation. Epicurean atomism is seen as being opposed to the fabrication of causal explanations which construe things as merely being acted upon by discrete, external factors. Marx’s sophisticated reading of the determination and interpénétration of concepts in Epicurean natural philosophy, reflects Marx’s own capacity to perceive connections between categorial standpoints. It also points to Marx’s subsequent reading of capitalism as a relative, historical mode of production which generates an interrelated set of phenomena demanding explanation, in a holistic conceptual framework.
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G. W. F. Hegel, Hegel’s Science of Logic , tr. A. V. Miller (London and New York: George, Allen and Unwin, 1976), pp. 165–6.
D. McLellan, Marx Before Marxism (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1972), p. 83.
K. Marx, Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature in K. Marx and F. Engels, Collected Works , 1 (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1975), pp. 84–7.
G. W. F. Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy , Vol. 1 tr. E. S. Haldane and F. H Simson (London & New York: Kegan, Paul, Trench & Tryber, 1892), pp. 223–4.
Z. Rosten, Bruno Bauer andKarl Marx (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1977).
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L. Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism , Vol. 1 (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1978), pp. 104–5.
Authors and affiliations.
Oxford Brookes University, UK
Gary K. Browning ( appointed Professor of Politics )
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Editors and affiliations.
Nottingham Trent University, UK
Tony Burns ( Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Politics ) & Ian Fraser ( Lecturer in Political Theory ) ( Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Politics ) & ( Lecturer in Political Theory )
© 2000 Macmillan Press Ltd
About this chapter
Cite this chapter.
Browning, G.K. (2000). Marx’s Doctoral Dissertation: The Development of a Hegelian Thesis. In: Burns, T., Fraser, I. (eds) The Hegel-Marx Connection. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230595934_6
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230595934_6
Publisher Name : Palgrave Macmillan, London
Print ISBN : 978-1-349-41246-4
Online ISBN : 978-0-230-59593-4
eBook Packages : Palgrave Political & Intern. Studies Collection Political Science and International Studies (R0)
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Karl Marx, 1835-43: The Early Writings of Marx Including His Doctoral Dissertation, Articles from the Rheinische Zeitung; Poetry (Collected Works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Volume 1) Hardcover – January 1, 1975
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