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  1. The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question.

a. What does Marx mean here by ”objective truth,” what is he alluding to, and why is it about being a ”practical question”? Is it used in the sense below? "Man must prove the truth" in his actions, because he (the subject) seeks to control his conditions of life (the object)?

Man must prove the truth, i.e., the reality and power, the this-sidedness [Diesseitigkeit] of his thinking, in practice.

b. What is meant by ”this-sidedness of [one's] thinking”? What is ”this-sidedness” and why should be thought of ”in practice”? How do we understand ”reality and power” i.e. ”truth” by taking this into consideration?

The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking which is isolated from practice is a purely scholastic question.

c. What is ”reality” of thinking, and what is ”non-reality” of thinking? How is that isolated from practice and why is it considered a scholastic question?

We know that Marx's philosophy is one of praxis, rooted in everyday life. Because Marx believes in revolutionary capacity through action, but how do we know that he's establishing himself as non-determinist? What does non-determinism mean in this case?

  1. The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing, and that, therefore, changed men are products of changed circumstances and changed upbringing, forgets that it is men who change circumstances and that the educator must himself be educated.

d. Is he saying that materialism like Feuerbach's forgets that the world changes through the action of men? If so, why?

Hence this doctrine is bound to divide society into two parts, one of which is superior to society. The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-change [Selbstveränderung] can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionary practice.

d. So the doctrine of materialism is supposed to be the cause of a change of circumstances in human activity, and subsequently, lead to self-change (of the individual?)? And that self-change and human-activity being conceived and ”rationally understood” as revolutionary practice?

Huttunen notes that in this thesis, social structures facilitates subject, but on the other hand those structures can be changed by either reflective or unreflective action of subject. So what is meant by subject? Is it the individual?

  1. Feuerbach starts off from the fact of religious self-estrangement [Selbstentfremdung], of the duplication of the world into a religious, imaginary world, and a secular [weltliche] one. His work consists in resolving the religious world into its secular basis. He overlooks the fact that after completing this work, the chief thing still remains to be done.

e. What is meant here by religious self-estrangement, and subsequently the rest of what was written here? Is he simply saying that there is a divide between the material world and the immaterial world, but I am probably glossing over some important details here? Is it to say that the "existence" of the notion of the religious world is, itself, a reflection of the contradiction of the real world? That it is a product of alienation within the real, and that only through the removal of the contradiction in the real world (the subject gaining control over the object) can we see the removal of these other contradictions?

For the fact that the secular basis lifts off from itself and establishes itself in the clouds as an independent realm can only be explained by the inner strife and intrinsic contradictoriness of this secular basis.

f. What does it mean for ”a secular basis lifts off from itself and establishes itself in the clouds as an independent realm“? And how can it only be ”explained by the inner strife and intrinsic contradictoriness of this secular basis”?

The latter must itself be understood in its contradiction and then, by the removal of the contradiction, revolutionised. Thus, for instance, once the earthly family is discovered to be the secret of the holy family, the former must itself be annihilated [vernichtet] theoretically and practically.

g. What is exactly contradictory about a “secular basis that lifts off from itself and establishes itself in the clouds as an independent realm?” What do we exactly ”remove” here, and what's meant by ”revolutionized”? What's the ”earthly family,” and how is it the ”holy family”? How do you ”theoretically and practically” annihilate the ”secret of the holy family”?

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    This smells an awful lot like coursework. I would like to ask you to strictly have one question per post and, more importantly, provide context in the form of your own efforts to answer the question, its background and your literature, and where exactly you are stuck. – Philip Klöcking Aug 1 '20 at 20:26
  • @Philip Klöcking, it's literally not coursework. I posted my own questions to try to understand those particular passages. So I don't know what you're talking about. Additionally, no one is compelled to answer everything.. – cricket900 Aug 1 '20 at 21:00
  • p. 151 of jstor.org/stable/26211770 mentions that in The Holy Family Marx criticized certain materialists like Owen for (in the author's words, not Marx's) "introducing what amounts to a quasi-Cartesian dualism into their materialism by elevating the activities of the social reformer above the conditions to which he is supposed himself to be subject." I think the line you quoted criticizing a certain materialist perspective which is "bound to divide society into two parts, one of which is superior to society" is probably expressing the same idea. – Hypnosifl Aug 1 '20 at 21:29
  • @Hypnosifl So Marx criticized materialists for being cartesian dualists? What does it mean to ”elevate the activities of the social reformer above the conditions to which he is supposed himself to be subject.”? ”is probably expressing the same idea”, yeah I see the similarity. – cricket900 Aug 1 '20 at 22:00
  • Not Cartesian dualists in the literal metaphysical sense, just a dualistic approach to how historical changes happen, the idea that the masses' behavior and ideas are determined in fairly predictable ways by external circumstances but that there is a special group of social reformers who can diagnose the problems of society and create change by reeducating the masses, with no notion that these educators' ideas are themselves determined to the same degree external circumstances, or that the masses have the same degree of freedom (whatever degree that is) as the reformers. – Hypnosifl Aug 1 '20 at 22:59

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