I would like to know the difference of the concepts of subject and individual philosophically speaking, I'm studying subjectivity theory in Marx and I have doubts about the difference between these concepts.

  • 4
    Can you tell us a little more about why this difference might have become interesting or important to you? It might also help to specify your doubts in terms of particular concerns or questions
    – Joseph Weissman
    Apr 29, 2013 at 18:23

2 Answers 2


Marx followed what we might call a relational epistemology and ontology. To quote a glossary definition of "subject and object" from Marxists.org:

In the dialectical theory of knowledge, the important thing is to understand the subject and object as a unity and to see both the activity of the subject (which had been developed by idealism – see Theses on Feuerbach No. 1) and the independent existence of the world of which the subject is a part (which had been emphasised by materialism).

For this reason, I think you will not find Marx or Marxists saying very much about human "individuals" as such. From a Marxian perspective, our common sense understanding and experience of existence as human individuals is a bit misleading, as it conceals the unity described above.

  • The unity of the contradicting notions but also their separation is dialectical. Marxism gives emphasis to the unity mostly for ideological reasons... (or perhaps they misinterpret dialectics).
    – John Am
    Feb 19, 2017 at 20:09

Not Marx's but Marxist writers' ideas lies on here a little bit. It may help. http://jdeanicite.typepad.com/i_cite/2013/02/how-is-it-that-the-subject-becomes-an-individual.html

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    That may be a very useful link; however, it would be great if you could actually say something about it or summarize its content. As it stands, this is not an answer.
    – iphigenie
    Sep 11, 2014 at 7:15

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