Marx`s and Hegel`s Classical Sociological Theory

Marx’sand Hegel’s Classical Sociological Theory


Marx’sand Hegel’s Classical Sociological Theory

Hegel’sPhilosophy that Informed Marx’s Thoughts

KarlMarx was perfectly aware of his criticism of Hegel’s philosophy.There are bits of Hegel’s philosophical thoughts that informedMarx. Marx echoed Hegel’s type of critics on the natural sciencelaw traditions as he also moved a step forward to criticize Hegel’sworks. Therefore one would argue that Marx recognized Hegel’sphilosophy of criticism as a genuine and often a head of time. Marxconsidered contends, idealism and positivism as ultimately two sidesof the same problem (KAUENKA, 1969, p. 119-122). One may argue thatMarx’s critics on Hegel’s works were a repeat of Hegel’scritics on Hobbes’s and Rousseau’s works on positivism and Kant’swork on idealism. Marx looks like he was repeating the controversialrules of engagement of philosophical criticism as his indictmentclosely matches the way Hegel studied Rousseau, Hobbes and Kantworks.

TheConcept of Dialectic

Dialecticmay refer to the art of knowing the truth by revealing thecontradictions while reasoning on an issue. The general use of theterm dialectic may also mean formal reasoning(Silverstein,2003, p. 193-229). The idea of dialectic used in as rational andengaging contradictions was mostly used by many scholars in the 19thcentury. For example, in the improvement of German Idealism in the19thcentury, dialectic was commonly used to mean contradictions indiscussions and realities. The idea of dialectic was commonly used byHegel and Marx. Marx adopted and used the concept of dialectic in hiscritics of Hegel’s work who had earlier applied the term in hisstudies. Dialectic may consider the entire phenomenon as being in aprocess of change.

Hegeland Marx View of Dialectical Dynamics

HegelianDialectical Dynamics dialectical analysis was the primary componentof Hegel’s objective idealism and positivism criticism of otherscholars works. For Hegel, the dialectical dynamism was a unificationof contradiction that exists in the reality in the complicatedrelationships of the whole society (Farmer, 2012). To Hegel, eachformulation of the thesis is opposed because of the contradictionsthat exist within the communities and the thesis as well, as there isan antithesis that counters the thesis. Hegel claimed that thesynthesis contained components of truth that justifies both thethesis and the antithesis of a phenomenon. Synthesis existed topreserve the rational elements of an event from the thesis anddiscard the irrational antithesis.

Hegelportrayed the reality as he continuously attempted to resolve thedialectic of the thesis and antithesis through much higher synthesis.Some degree of care is needed in determining the Hegelian dialectic.One should be careful in over determining the Hegelian dialectic.Fichte produced a mechanical version of the dialectic that confirmsthe notion that any thesis contradicted by an antithesis thatmechanically resolved into a thesis. The approach used by Hegel wasnot a mere conflict between two conflicting sides but more ofresolution of the two incomplete thoughts into a more generalformulation. The dialectic dynamics relates to the Platonic dialecticthat attempted to determine the interconnections of ideas in thelight of a single thought.

Marx’sDialectical Dynamics Marx’s dialectic refers to the methodology headopted in his works. For Marx, dialectical thinking is a criticaltool. Mark’s dialectical dynamics grew out of the critiques he cameup with on Hegelian dialectics. For Hegel, dialectic was a generallaw of history as history was determined by the dialecticsirrespective of the activities that were taking place. Marx disagreedwith the thoughts of Hegel that dialectics is an inevitable andunstoppable mechanism that works through self-realization andmetaphysical entity. Hegel affirmed that the inevitability ofdialectics was evident in the history of the struggle of nations.Instead of abandoning the dialectics thoughts of Hegel, Marx decidedto transform radically the idea (Farmer, 2012). One would argue thatit would be debatable as whether Marx supported the idea ofdialectics of Hegel, but the transformation Marx made was so radical.Marx only retained the notion that contradictions do exist inreality.

Marxcame up with a materialistic scientific that contradicted thepositivist scientific. In explaining the dialectic dynamics, Marx didaway with the economics and not the metaphysical to elaborate thehistorical process that he referred as the struggle between classes.Besides, Marx considered history as the contribution to practicalreflective action on social groups and classes. There was adialectical process of historical changes that occurred betweenactive groups or categories. Marx did not see dialectics as a processthat worked mechanically. To Marx, dialectics dynamics was workingout on a given historical phenomenon that was affected by praxis.Dialectics dynamism is not an inevitable process as Hegel claimed andis not occurring in a linear progression. It is commonly acceptedthat Marx used dialectics in his works, but the nature and extent ofthe Marx’s dialectic are still debatable. The debate may beinterwoven with the arguments about the degree to which Marxinherited or endorsed the dialectical materials from others scholarswork. However, the historical materialism of Marx was clearlydialectical in nature.

Marxand Hegel Process of Evolution

Marxdid not agree with the Hegel’s process of evolution that insinuatedthat evolution was inevitable and occurred in a linear process. Marxonly confirmed that the notion that during an evolution,contradictions may exist but not that the process is inevitable andtakes place in a linear process.


Farmer,J. F. (2012). A Comparison of Some of the Themes of Irrationality,Illusion and Mystification Identified or Inferred by Karl Marx andMax Weber in Their Explanations of the Rise of Capitalism. Journal ofSociological Research, 3(2), Pages-11.

KAUENKA,E. (1969). Review Article: THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT OF KARLMARX. By Shlomo Avineri. Australian Journal of Politics &ampHistory, 15(1), 119-122.

Ritzer,G. (2010). Enchanting a disenchanted world: Continuity and change inthe cathedrals of consumption. Pine Forge Press.

Silverstein,M. (2003). Indexical order and the dialectics of sociolinguisticlife. Language &amp Communication, 23(3), 193-229.