Volume 1, 2010
Selected Essays from Asia and Pacific
The Active Subject in the Hiistorical Situation: An Inter-Observation between the Philosophy of Marx and Phenomenology
The active subject in the historical situation: An interobservation between the philosophy of Marx and phenomenology. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Phenomenology and Marxism have been two major paradigms in human science based on their contribution to ontology about human being instead of methodology. The phenomenological analysis of the ability of sense-giving of human-being made man as a being-active in the world, while the historical materialism of Marx defined man as a passive-being within the particular historical situation. However, these two discourses may easily open to misconception. Phenomenology was once seen as under the banner of solipsism and the philosophy of Marx as an economical or material determinism. In fact, in Husserl’s Ideas II, Husserl had noticed the role and the function of the body in constitutive act and then the human being had been thought as a passive-being, a corporeal-being-in-the-world, in phenomenology. On the other hand, for Marx, his historical materialism had never negated man as a being-active in the historical process. But both of these two philosophical systems cannot successfully describe human being as being-active meanwhile as being-passive. Therefore, I suggest that it is propitious moment to clarify the unclear dimensions of these two philosophical discourses through the dialogue between them. In addition, I will attempt to propose some new statements on the relationship between the body, will and history.