Engels on Hegel and Dialectics
Today’s reading assignment has been the portion linked above, Engels on the history of philosophy. He notes that the history of metaphysics evaluates ideas and objects in a vacuum, without acknowledging the various connections and traces that bind and shape history, intellectual and otherwise. Engles points to Hegel and dialectics as a key point where philosophy is freed from disjointed understanding to a connected evolution. Hegel points to the connectedness of all things, with Engels describing that “in this system — and herein is its great merit — for the first time the whole world, natural, historical, intellectual, is represented as a process — i.e., as in constant motion, change, transformation, development…” Instead of isolated attempts towards understanding, Dialectics presents a more cohesive view towards the world. Engels notes flaws in the system; ultimately Hegel’s idealism would not stand the march towards materialism. Nonetheless, it’s a key turn in the history of philosophy, getting rid of the burden of metaphysics to build the way to historical materialism.