The enigma of the inversion: a study in the dialectics of Hegel and Marx

Horn, Alan James (2003) The enigma of the inversion: a study in the dialectics of Hegel and Marx. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
Download (14MB) | Preview
Printed Thesis Information:


The thesis is a contribution to the understanding of the relationship of the dialectical thought and method of G. W. F. Hegel and K. Marx. The aim of the thesis is to ascertain what the relation and the difference between the contrary forms, of the idealist and the materialist dialectic, actually is. The thesis consequently attempts to make sense of Marx’s view that his application of the dialectical method was not only different from but also the “direct opposite” of his idealist predecessor. This theme, itself the source for the enigmatic nature of the inversion, is developed by ascertaining some of the core elements that lie behind and underpin Marx’s own comment; that the rational kernel of Hegel’s mystical form of dialectic could be discovered if it was “turned right side up again”.

The thesis also explored the relationship between the early Marx’s critique of Hegel, contained in the 1844 Paris Manuscripts, with the later Marx’s comments on his view of the relation of his dialectic to Hegel’s. As such, the thesis argues that there is both a continuity and a development in Marx’s critical attitude to Hegel’s dialectical thought.

The core elements of the rational kernel of Hegel’s dialectic for Marx lies, as the thesis will argue, in the Hegelian account of the general form of working of the dialectic, and in Hegel’s explication of the laws of dialectics. The thesis thus explore the intimate relation of these two interconnected themes from the point of view of Hegel’s systematic idealism, and in Marx’s materialist application of these rational elements to his critique of political economy.

This involves endeavouring to elucidate, both the nature of a dialectical account of contradiction, and the related explanation of nomological activity or law from a dialectical perspective. The thesis also attempts to explore the fundamental contrast of the materialist from the idealist elucidation of these core elements.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 2003
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2003-1776
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 May 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:46

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year