10. Marx's Theory of Historical Materialism (1)

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Foundations of Modern Social Thought (SOCY 151)

We review Marx's theory of alienation and pick up with the transition from the young Marx to the mature Marx who breaks with Hegelian thought and the Young Hegelians. Reflecting on the disappointed hopes of the French Revolution, Hegel wrote that the civil servants in France represent the universal class. In direct contrast, Marx writes that the state only appears to be the universal class. He then goes about writing his theory of exploitation to argue that the workers, as the only fully alienated class, represent the universal position. He responds to Feuerbach with his eleven theses arguing for his own brand of historical materialism. Many of his "Theses on Feuerbach" remain very famous and widely-associated with Marx's oeuvre, including the last thesis, thesis eleven: the point of philosophy is not only to understand the world, but to change it.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Importance of Marx's Theory of Alienation
15:06 - Chapter 2. Intellectual Developments towards the Theory of Alienation
27:27 - Chapter 3. "On the Jewish Question": Universal Emancipation
30:21 - Chapter 4. Introduction to "Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right"
37:51 - Chapter 5. Historical Materialism

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2009.