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Deleuze in his book Bergsonism compares a passage of Bergson to Marx saying “Humanity only sets itself problems that it is capable of solving.” But Deleuze gives no cite to Marx. I can see the drift of this saying in Marx, but is there a reasonably close quote somewhere in Marx? Where?

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    This statement is made in the Preface to "A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy". Dec 3, 2017 at 2:10
  • @clearmountainway: I've just looked through the preface but can't see it? Dec 3, 2017 at 11:39
  • @clearmountainway: ignore my last comment - I've found it. Dec 3, 2017 at 11:50
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    It's in the 8th paragraph:"Mankind thus inevitably sets itself only such tasks as it is able to solve, since closer examination will always show that the problem itself only arises when the material conditions for its solution are already present or at least in course of formation' Dec 3, 2017 at 11:55

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See this 8th paragraph from the top.

Source: K. Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1977, with some notes by R. Rojas.

        Mankind thus inevitably sets itself only such tasks as it is able to solve, since closer examination will always show that the problem itself arises only when the material conditions for its solution are already present or at least in the course of formation. In broad outline, the Asiatic, ancient,[A] feudal and modern bourgeois modes of production may be designated as epochs marking progress in the economic development of society. The bourgeois mode of production is the last antagonistic form of the social process of production – antagonistic not in the sense of individual antagonism but of an antagonism that emanates from the individuals' social conditions of existence – but the productive forces developing within bourgeois society create also the material conditions for a solution of this antagonism. The prehistory of human society accordingly closes with this social formation.

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  • Thanks for the answer and welcome
    – Al Brown
    Sep 17, 2023 at 9:23

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