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BOOK REVIEWS 12 7 Philip J. Kain. Schiller, Hegel, and Marx: State, Society and the Aesthetic Ideal of Ancient Greece. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1982. Pp. xii + 179. $25.oo, cloth. Philip Kain aims to clarify Marx's humanism and in particular the way his ideas evolved regarding self-estrangement, species-being, the humanization of labor and related issues. Kain criticizes those who claim that an "essential unity" pervades Marx's thought early and late, and those who, at the other pole, assert that an epistemological break separates the young from the mature Marx. For Kain, the former fail to note that as he worked out his mature doctrines Marx indeed abandoned notions stressed in the early writings, while the latter mistake his abandonment of those notions for a total break with the early doctrines. Kain uses the notion of self-estrangement to exemplify how Marx's thought actually developed. The notion , as elaborated first and most fully in Marx's 1844 Paris writings, had four components, actually four constituent relationships of estrangement: (a) between the worker and his product, (2) between the worker and his activity of laboring, (3) between the worker and his "species-being," and (4) between the worker and his fellow humans. Kain argues that Marx subsequently abandoned the notion of man's nature as "species-being," and so also the third component of the concept of selfestrangement , and that he substituted for the teleological dynamism implicit in the notion of "species-being" the dynamism found in the historical interplay of the forces and relations of production. Thus there is no "essential unity" between the notion of self-estrangement as it is found in the writings of 1844 and the discussions of alienated labor in the Grundrisse of 1857-58 or the idea of the "fetishism of commodities" in Capital I. Yet, inasmuch as Marx retained the other three components of the original concept, as the later texts show, it is wrong to assert that a complete conceptual break occurred. Kain suggests that this sort of analysis can be applied to all the major Marxian themes, including the notion of historical materialism. Still, his treatment of Marx's thinking about the humanization of labor shows that not all Marxian concepts evolved in the same way. Marx first thought that all cases of human labor could be made into instances of free creativity and human fulfillment, but subsequently came to distinguish labor from leisure, with the latter identified with freedom and creativity, then in texts such as the 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program, he seemed to again entertain the possibility of labor as the primary human fulfillment. It seems to have been a case of conceptual indecisiveness never resolved. Kain makes the further point that shifts in different important concepts occurred at different times, rendering suspect any identification of clearcut periods or transition points in Marx's intellectual development. His treatment of these and related matters, e.g., Marx on division of labor, Marx (and Hegel) on politics, is consistently clear, scholarly , and graceful, yielding a book that is both readable and deserving of serious attention. It locates Marx in the tradition of thinkers whose social and political humanism reflected an idealization of ancient Greece and an aesthetic concept of harmony between the individual, society, and nature. The opening treatment of Schiller and the subsequent, lengthy treatment of Hegel are interesting in themselves and set 128 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 22"1 JAN 198 4 the stage well for Marx. Still, reservations must be expressed about Kain's interpretations of both Hegel and Marx. Hegel, for example, is said to have individuals "find their objectivity only as parts of the state" (72), although Hegel, in the text cited (Phil. of Right, Par. 258 and Remark), speaks not of "parts," but of "members," i.e., of individuals whose recognition of themselves as having common needs, values, and ends, and whose actions in accord with that recognition, constitute the state's "actuality ." Thus, to be true to Hegel it is not enough to say, as Kain does (74), that "Even in a state based upon the free acceptance of rational laws, individuals...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 127-128
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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