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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 28, Issue 3, 2018

Karl Marx: On the Occasion of the Bicentary of his Birth

Kevin M. Brien
Pages 155-160

Karl Marx: Praxis, Process, and Method

In Karl Marx’s “Preface” to the second edition of Capital, Volume 1, he famously wrote that with Hegel dialectical thinking is “standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.” Unfortunately, across a wide spectrum of interpretations of Marxism, there continues to be a great deal of confusion about what Marx means by the “rational kernel” that he discerns within the Hegelian “mystical shell.” But not just a great deal of confusion, but real mystification and distortion of what Marx himself means by dialectical thinking, and especially what a dialectical mode of explanation involves. The concern of this brief paper is to offer some considerations that might open up a clearer conceptual horizon for understanding Marx’s method of dialectical explanation, and the fundamental canons of interpretation that are associated with it.

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