Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy

Volume 6, 1977

Interdisciplinary Phenomenology

Joseph J. Bien
Pages 152-166

Meaning and Freedom in the Marxist Conception of the Economic

The introduction by Marxism of consciousness as the development of man’s relations with nature and society presented philosophy with a direct contrast to modern philosophy’s claim of understanding life by consciousness. Rather than the individual ego, the types of production and ownership were understood as the determinants of man’s social thought, and freedom, which had been conceived to be man’s essence (although qualified even here in space and time), was now to be seen in reference to the economic. This new view of freedom is most often seen as an attempt to surmount both Kant’s notion of freedom and Hegel’s metaphysics of freedom.