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The Unification of Dialectical Materialism and Historical Materialism

Author: GaoYuan
Tutor: SunLiTian
School: Jilin University
Course: The philosophy of Marxism
Keywords: Dialectical Materialism Historical Materialism Dialectics the PracticalPerspective Mode of Thinking
CLC: B0-0
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 370
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Abstract


It has been over one hundred years since the creation of Marxism. We have acomplete, mature and systematic theory of Marxism, but which doesn’t mean that wehave uniform consensus about the basic content and the theoretical framework ofMarxist theory. Since textbooks times,Marxist philosophy has clearly divided into twomajor parts, namely, dialectical materialism and historical materialism. This spreadsthe seeds for the later debate. Which one, dialectical materialism or historicalmaterialism is the core content of Marxism theory, is that the former belongs to thelatter or the latter belongs to the former, and how to belongs and so on, which wehaven’t form a unified understanding. Although we don’t agree with that kind ofabsolute identity and dogmatic understanding of Marxist theory, yet it is necessary tofurther clarify the deep relationship between "two plates" for the deeply understandingof the Marxist philosophy itself. Besides, In the circumstances of diversification ofideology and culture forms today, adhering to the Marxist philosophical foundationinevitable requires for a more unified understanding about our own theory system.It is based on the nature of philosophy that people are not satisfied with theunderstanding that dialectical materialism and historical materialism are independentparallel relationship where the view of nature and history of the Marxist philosophy areseparated, so people always try to find or build their inner unity. Some scholars takedialectical materialism as the core of Marxist philosophy, some scholars also puthistorical materialism as the core of Marxist philosophy. The latter usually usehistorical materialism contain the dialectical materialism, Even based on EngelsMarxist philosophy world outlook theory, taking history as a historical interpretationprinciple, and thinking that historical materialism is the core of Marxist philosophy,and dialectical materialism is the manifestation of historical materialism, and pointing out that historical materialism is always in dialectics.The scholars who hold the two kinds of formulation actually agree that practice isthe core category of Marxist philosophy, and they don’t object to Marx’s dialecticswhich based on the practice way of thinking. And in terms of its essence, they are notin the relationship of antinomy. If we need to stress their differences, we can say thatthe former is still in the traditional philosophy view to unify dialectical materialismand historical materialism, and the latter is based on Engels’ judgment in"Anti-Dühring", which is "This(modern materialism) is not philosophy at all, and it’sjust world view." If considering some opponent propositions of foundationalism andontology, and even more extreme to eliminate philosophy(realize the globalismphilosophy) of modern and postmodern philosophy, taking the historical materialism asworld view theory is accurate.In this thesis, we still try to unify dialectical materialism and historicalmaterialism based on the overall understanding of the philosophy. In our opinion, if wehold that philosophy can be understood and grasped as something to sort out somesemblance of order to this chaotic world as an entirety as what art and religion do, thenthe essence of the Marxist philosophy can only be based on the dialectics. If we stillinsist that philosophy is the overall understanding of the world (whether natural orsocial), then dialectics is the core image of this philosophy. And just based on this veryunderstanding of philosophy, we hold that dialectical materialism is the core of Marx’sphilosophy and its development, the Marxist philosophy, and thus we advocate thatdialectical materialism and historical materialism are unified or even in identity in thelevel of dialectical materialism. We can say that we still establish our view ofphilosophy based on an academic-researching mode. Considering what we usually say,we can hold that Hegel’s idealist dialectics has very successfully achieved actually theidentity within historical idealism and dialectical idealism, so our efforts to unifydialectical materialism and historical materialism based on the fundamentalproposition of materialism inevitably involves the understanding of the relationshipbetween the dialectics of Hegel and that of Marx. That is to say, how Marx achieved the removal of the head of Hegel’s idealist dialectics system and the placement of thefeet of materialism and established his materialist dialectics, and then achieved whatEngels called a new world view. Therefore, this thesis is a comparative study at large.Of course, it is not limited to the comparison between the dialectics of Hegel and Marx,it is also to some extent related to intertextuality interpretation between the practiceperspective mode of thinking and historical interpretation principle.Based on the above discussions, we believe that philosophy is one of the ways ofoverall understanding of the world as science, art, and even religion, although"philosophy" inevitably undertake an function similar as "apperception" in itsoperation and thinking process, and further inevitably recruits a unique image of theultimate thinking for itself. For us, the world is always the society blossoming in time.In the sense of reflection, the way and traits of blossoming is history, further, history isalways the entire processing of dialectics.Dialectics here is neither abstract principlesand methods of the society blossoming itself nor just an attitude that we reflect on thehistory but the mode of our existence and even a priori principle of our thinking. Interms of individual lives, we unfold and justify ourselves in accordance with dialectics."I" analyse my will with myself as an intermediary and in the dialectical path and thenconduct interactive practices with the others (nature and society) and further synthesizea new "I", and then analyze again and synthesize again with myself as anintermediary…… in this sense, dialectics " is a synthetic a priori proposition for "I". Inthe process of history, the big "I" in sense of society is also a generative blossoming inthe sense of dialectical intermediary for the entirety of life, although it is not a strangething that we may only need "apperception" to be aware of the dialectical nature of life.However, the self as an individual can only recognize the dialectical nature of theentirety of life by means of the overall scope of history of categories or concepts. Then,it is not difficult to understand why Hegel emphasizes in such an extent that the historyof philosophy is philosophy and that truth is entirety.Considering such an understanding to human themselves and to philosophy,philosophy is inevitably idealism in sense of reflection, because the only object of reflection is concepts. Only in the sense of a forward-looking, in the level of practice,philosophy is materialism, because the object of practice for the intervention into theworld for philosophy will eventually be implemented in the actual changes of materialrelationships. Philosophy is inseparable from the owl of Minerva and is alsoinseparable from the Gallic rooster, therefore, Heidegger said:"Marx can not changethe world without Hegel’s contributions." Then, how can we say that the owl and therooster are not in a dialectical relationship? So, when the night falls, we inevitably goback to Hegel, and then turn to Marx when the sun rises. We believe that this is theessence of the relationship between Marx and Hegel’s dialectics. And historicalmaterialism and dialectical materialism are actually different references to Marx’sdialectics, or we can say, historical materialism and dialectical materialism unifythemselves in dialectics.

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