species-being?

HANS DESPAIN HANS.DESPAIN at m.cc.utah.edu
Tue Aug 22 19:58:10 MDT 1995


 On August 17 Kevin John Geiger wrote that "Marx denied that there was a
 'human nature'".  This is surely an (Althusserian) overstatement.  If it
 is meant to say that Marx, like any careful theorist, could not precisely
 say what is the human essence, perhaps we agree.  However, if this means
 that human beings do not have a nature in an Althusserian or
 Structuralist sense we must disagree.

 Moreover, Marx's comments on species-being should be interpreted in light
 of his histocial materialism of *German Ideology*, and his comments and
 notion of human praxis.  Marx did not use the term species-being
 following his critique of Feuerbach in the *German Idology*.

 I believe that two books from Erich Fromm *Marx's Concept of Man* (1961);
 *The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness* (1973); and Norman Geras's *Marx on
 Human Nature* (1983) are all very good books on this issue (especially
 Geras defense against the Althusserian interpretation).

 Although Marx's abandon's the Feuerbachian term species-being he retains
 both Feuerbachian moments of humanism and naturalism.  The humanism has
 humans as agents of *praxis* (e.g. change, self-development, and
 betterment).  The naturalism has humans part of the natural or material
 world.

 It seems to me that Marxists must retain a (Marxian) notion of human
 nature for any "faith" or believe in full human emancipation.

 Finally, I will mention that Bhaskar's Transformational Model of Social
 Activity best captures the Marx's notion of human praxis.  It is a
 model which demonstrates that a distinction between micro and macro (economics)
 is a false dichotomy.

 Hans Despain
 despain at econ.sbs.utah.edu
 hans.despain at m.cc.utah.edu




     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---

     ------------------



More information about the Marxism mailing list