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Feature“Nature is the proof of dialectics”: Engels’s the Dialectics of Nature and New Materialism

작성자 : Seo Dongjin
작성일자 : 2020-04-08 03:19:47 조회수 : 12
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“Nature is the proof of dialectics”:
Engels’s the Dialectics of Nature and New Materialism

Seo Dongjin

With the increasing rise of New Materialist discourses against anthropo-
centrism everywhere, we are forced to ponder the identity of Marxist
materialism. In this article, we re-visit Friedrich Engels’ Dialectics of Nature
and its related texts, which have been underestimated and even dimissed over
the past century. His thought about nature, being, subject and dialectics in major
works have been criticised as being imbued with scientism, physicalism,
dogmatic metaphysics, and naturalism. Against the grain, in this article, we
assert to need to rethink Engels’s dialectics of nature in order to reconstruct
Marxist materialism and combat the impact of New Materialist discourses. In
particular, we suggest reconsidering the phrase “following Hegel’s mistaken
lead” mentioned in Lukács’s text, and fearlessly approve of Hegel’s
Naturphilosophie and its ontological thought. Hegel’s thought was an attempt to
traverse between being (substance) and thought (phenomenon), retaining
crucial lessons of critical philosophy since Kant’s Copernican turn. Therefore,
reversing the insistence that Engels fabricated naturalist materialism by
following Hegel’s mistaken lead, this article states that Engels’s dialectics of
nature paved the way to overcome naïve materialism and idealism.

Keywords: Engels, materialism, New Materialisms, Marxism, dialectical
materialism, ontology, dialectics of nature

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