Is Marx a Fichtean?
AbstractIs Marx a Fichtean? SAGE Publications, Inc. 201010.1177/0191453709348435 © The Author(s) 2010. The Author(s) TomRockmore Department of Philosophy, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA We are still in the process of understanding Marx’s position, hence in assessing his specific contribution. It is always better to read an author through his or her writing as distinguished from writings about him or her. But for various reasons, over many years Marx was mainly read by Marxists, non-Marxists and anti-Marxists alike through Marxism. In the Marxist reading of Marx, Hegel plays a key but variable role. In the West, at least since Engels invented Marxism, he is still routinely regarded as a central influence on Marx. This is not the case in the East, for instance, in China, where Hegel’s influence in the formulation of Marx’s position is only now starting to be taken seriously. Western Marxism has always insisted on the crucial character of Marx’s reaction against Hegel. According to this approach, Marx, in reacting against Hegel, comes to grips with and ‘leaves’ philosophy. A presupposition is that Marx’s relation to philosophy can be adequately depicted through his reaction to Hegel, since, it is claimed, classical German philosophy reaches a high