Engels on Hegel and Dialectics

by criticalhit009

Frederick Engels – Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

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.