By Nick Knight
This ebook recounts the heritage of Marxist philosophy in China among 1923 and 1945 during the writings and actions of 4 philosophers: Qu Qiubai, Ai Siqi, Li Da and Mao Zedong. of those philosophers – Qu and Mao – have been additionally political activists and leaders, yet their contribution to this background is as very important, if no more so, than the contribution of Ai and Li who have been predominantly philosophers and students. The inclusion of Qu and Mao underlines the intimate connection among philosophy and politics within the innovative flow in China. it isn't attainable to talk credibly of Marxist philosophy in China with no contemplating the political context during which its advent, elaboration and dissemination proceeded. certainly, all of the philosophers thought of during this publication repudiated the inspiration that the examine of philosophy used to be a scholastic highbrow workout without political importance. every one of those philosophers seemed himself as a innovative, and regarded philosophy to be priceless accurately since it might facilitate a comprehension of the realm and so speed up efforts to alter it. by means of a similar token, each one of those philosophers took philosophy heavily; every one bent his brain to the daunting activity of getting to know the arcane and labyrinthian philosophical method of dialectical materialism. Philosophy may perhaps good be political, they believed, yet this was once no excuse for philosophical dilettantism.
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Additional info for Marxist philosophy in China: from Qu Qiubai to Mao Zedong, 1923-1945
Philosophers often wrote under a powerful sense of obligation to society’s ruling class, and thus shied away from a completely candid admission of ideas that might challenge the viewpoint of this class. Qu illustrates this class perspective on the production of philosophy by referring to the social conditions that had given rise to the bourgeoisie, and which had also had the effect of generating liberalism, an ideology that supposedly promoted the idea of freedom.
MARX, MARXIST PHILOSOPHY AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF 'ORTHODOXY' 21 in the writings of some of the earliest systematisers of dialectical materialism as logical extensions of Marx’s thought, and this was to become an article of faith in the Soviet Marxist philosophy inherited by Chinese Marxists in the 1920s and 1930s. 44 He was also to follow in the footsteps g by perceiving the political significance of philosophy, and of Engels’ Anti-Dühring consequently writing about philosophy in a highly polemical way.
58 Plekhanov emphasises the centrality of motion to dialectical materialism, and also the connection between motion and contradiction: ‘The movement of matter underlies all the phenomena of nature. 60 The issue of how contradictions in reality can be faithfully reflected in human thought was a contentious one for both Plekhanov and Lenin. In Materialismus Militans, Plekhanov made the conventional dualistic distinction between thought and objects in material reality, but believed that the latter could be reflected in human thought, not just as the result of the impressions (sensations) they made on the human nervous system, but as a result of practice (experience) that allowed humans to test their concepts.