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  1. Question
  2. Write Comte, MarxandEngels, feuerbach for around 2 pages respectively, and 2 pages for the connection between the three philosophers and French positivism


Subject Philosophy Pages 9 Style APA


Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, and Ludwig Feuerbach, and their Connection to French Positivism

Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, and Ludwig Feuerbach happen to be among the prominent philosophers whose worldviews were dominant in the mid-19 century. This paper presents the interpretation of the moral worldview associated with the French positivism by focusing on the texts studied in Unit II. The philosophers whose worldviews are discussed in the paper are Marx and Engels, Feuerbach, and Comte. The paper commences by discussing the worldview of each of these philosophers about humanity, ethics, and human nature, and then concludes by presenting an interpretation of the moral worldview associated with French positivism. These areas are discussed in the subheadings below: 

Marx and Engel

In The German Ideology, there is contradiction of Marx and Engels’ novel materialist technique with the idealism, which had characterized former German thought. The two philosopher take pain in establishing the premises associated with the materialist technique. They When it comes to the comprehension of human nature, the Marx and Engel commenced by arguing that real human beings are fundamentally productive, as they need to produce their subsistence means for them to gratify their material needs. As such, the gratification of needs engenders novel needs of both a social and material form, and societal forms arise in relation to the state or level of development associated with human productive forces. To some extent, material life determines social life. Therefore, social explanation is derived from material production to societal forms, and thus to consciousness forms (Wolff, 2017). As the development of material mechanism of production is achieved, economic structures or modes of cooperation rise and fall, and ultimately communism will transform into a real possibility after the plight of workers, as well as their consciousness of an alternative inspires them adequately to become revolutionaries.

Whereas Max and Engel provide an appropriate basis for comprehending the human nature account, as it is comprehended in French positivism and German materialism, Marx’s account of morality continues to pose a conundrum. Marx’s works are evidently dominated by undoubted authorization of the communist society’s future and immense disfavor of the bourgeois capitalist society (Wolff, 2017). However, the philosopher’s terms for this endorsement and antipathy remain unclear. Even though he is expected to consider capitalism unjust, Marx did not consider it as such. Marx does not also consider communism a just nature of society. While distancing himself from the discourse of justice, Marx makes a conscious effort to eliminate direct moral explanation in his works.  Therefore, the puzzle concerns the granting of weight of indirect moral illustration one finds.

Marx’s attitude towards communism and capitalism is associated with separate queries. Moreover, there are distinct queries associated with his attitude to notions of justice and notions of morality more widely concerned. These queries concern his thinking of capitalism to be unjust, his thinking of capitalism to morally condemned on other grounds, his thinking of communism to be just, and his thinking of communism to be morally authorized on other grounds. Marx’s argument that all capitalist gains or profit is eventually acquired from the worker’s exploitation seems to denote his consideration of capitalism as unjust. According to Marx, capitalism’s dirty furtive is that it does not constitute a realm of mutual benefit and harmony, but a system characterized by systematic extraction of profit from another by one class. Therefore, the puzzle that arises concerns the inability of such a system to be unjust. However, Marx fails to reach such a conclusion and in Capital, he proceeds to assert that such an exchange does not constitute injustice (Wolff, 2017). Much of his illustration of capitalism is associated with the employment of the words “exploitation,” “embezzlement,” and “robbery.” As such, it can be argued that Marx, like many people, did not possess perfect knowledge of his mind. While he managed to maintain his official viewpoint in his explicit reflections on the justice associated with capitalism, such a view slips out in less guarded times even if not in explicit language. Therefore, such an interpretation is exposed to controversy.

Auguste Comte

Comte believed that positivism declared very early its desire to establish a moral principle that attributes nothing to the mystical or supernatural. According to Comte, the need for a spiritual power only arose because the social queries are quite always moral, as opposed to being political (Bourdeau, 2018). As such, the societal reforms must be established in a determined account, beginning by changing ideas followed by morals, and then institutions. Nonetheless, in relation to the system, the ethics or the moral doctrine transforms status and translates into a science whose duty is to extend sociology, with the aim of taking individual phenomenon into consideration, particularly affective ones. In relation to this, the problem terms and its solution are granted by a saying existing in the cerebral table’s margin. Comte argued that the major question concerns identifying the affective forces that would prevail, whether those associated with sociability or those related to personality.

Whereas it is significant to recognize the innateness associated with the sympathetic instincts, individuals are compelled to acknowledge their native weakness in that the supremacy associated with egoistic mannerisms is so apparent that it constitutes one of the most outstanding train in human nature. As such, the major human problem is associated with the reversal of the natural account and teaching ourselves how to live for other people. According to Comte, the solution lies in controlling the inside via the outside and relies, as a consequence, on appropriate employment of mind (Bourdeau, 2018). The sole way in which self-sacrifice or altruism can triumph, is to align with the mind and make it its helper or servant, as opposed to its slave. Comte held that the heart void of the light of logic or reason is blind. Left on its own, affectivity is associated with instability and inconsistency. Therefore, discipline or the regulation of the inside is vital. This duty (discipline) is delegated to the outside considering that reality happens to be the best of controllers.

Comte maintains that despite the defects inherent in science, the account it discloses within nature is, by its inconsequence to our needs or desires, an origin of discipline. Therefore, the acknowledgement of an unchanging external account becomes the objective foundation of real human wisdom, and our affections, in the duty to comply with it, establishes an origin of fixedness suitable for regulating their spontaneous capriciousness, as well as channel stimulation to the sympathetic instincts’ dominance (Bourdeau, 2018). As such, science finds itself conferred a moral role and that thoughts need to be systemized prior to feelings. Besides, if moral ascendancy constitutes the sole attribute associated with the spiritual authority, such an authority would not manage to execute its functions without the assistance of a superior being or intellect. As in the case of the terminology “sociology,” Comte coined the term “altruism.” Being deeply informed of what animals and man share, Comte neared what is currently known as evolutionary ethics in that he perceived men’s cooperation as ongoing with phenomena of which biology grants us further illustrations. The same attention to biology led Comte to associate medicine to moral principle and religion. In the contemporary societies, human being’s study is irrationally distributed among three categories of thinkers including the physicians, philosophers, and priests (Bourdeau, 2018). Physicians are in charge of studying solely the body, while the philosophers imagine learning or studying the mind (Bourdeau, 2018).  Priests are in charge of studying the heart. To remedy this, as well as respect the nature’s accord, Comte suggested a novel clergy, which is a function in medicine, considering, for instance, that there exists no better authorization of a hygiene rule than a decree of religion.                         

Ludwig Feuerbach

When it comes to the comprehension of humanity, Feuerbach focuses on the premise of all history of human, which is living human individuals’ existence. As such, the physical organisation or arrangement of these individuals along with their consequent association with the rest of nature is the first fact that calls for establishment (Marx/Engels Internet Archive, n.d.). It is vital to note that the history writing must often set out from the climatic, hydrographical, and geological natural bases along with their modification history course via men’s action. Men can be differentiated from animals by religion and consciousness among other aspects.  As men commence the production of their subsistence means, they begin to differentiate themselves from animals. The physical organisation of men plays a significant role when it comes to the conditioning of this step. By producing their subsistence means, men are indirectly manufacturing their concrete material life.

The manner in which men produce their subsistence means relies on the nature associated with the real means of subsistence at their disposal that has to be reproduced. This production mode must not be considered merely as being the generation of the physical existence associated with individuals. Such a production mode constitutes a definite nature of activity for these individuals, a definite life mode on their part, and definite nature of expressing their life. Individuals become how they express their life (Marx/Engels Internet Archive, n.d.). Therefore, what individuals are, corresponds with their production in relation to how they produce and what they produce. In other words, individuals’ nature relies on the material circumstances determining their production. The appearance of such a production mode only occurs with the swelling of population.  As a result, this situation presumes the intercourse of individuals with each other, whose form is determined by production.

Even though Feuerbach makes a convincing argument, he seems to convey the message of acceptance and miscomprehension of the reality that he still shares with the opponents. This occurs when he establishes the notion that the occurrence of a man or a thing is, at the same moment, his or its essence, that the circumstances of occurrence, life mode, and activity of a human individual or animal constitute those in which its essence has the feeling of satisfaction. In this circumstance, any exclusion is expressly considered an unhappy chance or an abnormality that cannot be altered. Therefore, in a situation in which millions of proletarians have a feeling of discontentment with their conditions of living, if their occurrence does not in the minimum coincide with their essence, then, in relation to the text quoted, this circumstance constitutes an unavoidable misfortune, which needs to be born in a quite manner. Nonetheless, the millions of communists and proletarians think otherwise and will justify this in time, particularly when they bring their occurrence into harmony with their essence in a practical manner by executing a revolution. In the Essence of Christianity, Feuerbach argues that when a person is conscious of him or herself as human, he or she is conscious or him or herself not just as a thinking organism, but also as a willing and feeling being (Gooch, 2016). Therefore, Feuerbach does not speak of the man’s world in such situations, but often assumes refuge in external form and in form which is not under moderation by men. Nonetheless, every novel invention or advancement accomplished by industry separated another piece or aspect from this domain in a manner that steadily shrinks the ground which generates illustrations of such Feuerbachian propositions.

Presentation of an interpretation of the Moral Worldview associated with French Positivism from Marx and Engels, Comte, and Feuerbach

The views or notions presented by Marx and Engels, Comte, and Feuerbach can be employed in developing a worldview in relation to the aspects of humanity, human nature, and ethics or morality. When it comes to the comprehension of the human nature, Marx and Engels presents a robust account, which adheres to the French positivism. In relation to this, it can be premised that all knowledge should commence from an empirical, physical world. All human knowledge should be founded on sense experience followed by their verification in purely empirical manner. To validate this argument, Marx and Engel assert that real humans are principally reproductive, as they have to satisfy their physical or material needs by producing their substance means. When such needs are gratified, the engendering of novel social and material needs occurs, thereby resulting in the emergence of societal form depending on the development level associated with productive forces of individuals or humans. To a give extent, material life plays a role in the determinate of the social life. As such, social illustration is obtained from material creation to social forms, which in turn leads to the formation of consciousness. In relation to this, it can be noted that Marx and Engle consider material form as the source of knowledge or consciousness, which is in line with the French positivism.

In relation to the comprehension of the human nature based on French positivism, Comte provides a plausible argument that prioritizes the role of regulating external in achieving the state of self-sacrifice or altruism, as opposed to regulating the internal. As such, it can be premised that the external plays a vital role in influencing the internal, and that human needs and desires and can be regulated by first regulating the external forces with the help of the mind in order to control the internal instincts. External forces constitute the material forms of the physical world, and the serve as the source or origin of all knowledge needed to regulate human desires and needs. Therefore, by controlling the external forces using the mind as the servant, the human instincts can be regulated in an effective manner. The consideration of external forces as source of knowledge for comprehending human nature constitutes the French positivism.

Feuerbach offers a solid claim that can be employed in comprehending humanity in relation to French positivism. Feuerbach assumes refuge in external form, which constitutes the tangible, physical, or material world, in justifying his claims about humanity. By interpreting Feuerbach’s claim within the context of French positivism, it can be posited that feelings or willingness arising from the mind and body, which constitute the external, tangible or material aspects, plays a vital role in the establishment of the consciousness of human being.




Bourdeau, M. (2018). “Auguste Comte”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2018/entries/comte/>.

Gooch, T. (2016).  “Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2016/entries/ludwig-feuerbach/>.

Marx/Engels Internet Archive (n.d.). Chapter I: A Critique of German Ideology. Retrieved March 20, 2019 from: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01.htm

Wolff, J. (2017). “Karl Marx”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2017/entries/marx/>.


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