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Marx and Philosophy

Go BackGet Yourself An Introduction to Marxism

My first more or less in depth introduction to Marx and Engles was in graduate school at Villanova. Marxism was on the minds of some students if only because an ethical interest in social frameworks was traditional with the philosophy department. And there were plenty of people who would be willing to read up and talk.

When Villanova expanded its offerings to include a PhD program, there was good reason to integrate Marx and Engels into a discussion -- a curriculum -- with members of a department that take special interest in the existential and phenomenological traditions, but as they especially pertain to cultural, ethical, even moral and religious themes and experiences. Marxist texts in many ways speak the same phenomenological language. The existential-phenomenological sensibility is to be found in or gleaned from the discussion about the working body, the body worker, plugged into the massive social framework. Thus, the interest in he phenomenology of technology, to take into consideration the ways in which the human body is fitted into social structures.

And, of course, the philosophy department at Villanova has maintained a strong tradition of interest and scholarship in the French existentialists like Sartre, de Beauvoir and Camus. These philosophers were very interested in and/or critical of 20th century Marxist and Communist thought.

To the fear and consternation of some, an argument might be made that Marxist thought is ever more relevant as more and more humans enter into the peasant class. In the United States, if there is talk about the shrinking disappearance of the middle class, it is also about the growing peasant class in new third world financial scenarios, such as with the current crisis defining the first decade of the 21st century.

To social philosophy, the social sciences, the philosophy of money, and many other themes including the history of philosophy, Marx and Engles continue to be of interest.