Karl Marx was a stoic

Online library


[261] The form of this treatise would, on the one hand, be strictly scientific, on the other hand, in some explanations less pedantic, had it not been for its primitive definition of a doctoral dissertation. I am determined by external reasons to hand them over to the print in this form. In addition, I believe that I have solved a hitherto unsolved problem from the history of Greek philosophy in it.

Experts know that there is no useful preparatory work for the subject of this paper. What Cicero and Plutarch chattered has been chattered up to the present hour. Gassendi, who freed Epicurus from the interdict with which the church fathers and the whole Middle Ages, the time of realized unreason, had occupied him, offers only one interesting moment in his representations. He seeks his Catholic conscience with his pagan knowledge and the To accommodate Epicurus with the Church, which of course was a wasted effort. It is as if one wanted to throw a Christian nun's smock around the cheerfully blooming body of the Greek lais. Gassendi learns philosophy from Epicurus rather than being able to teach us about Epicurus' philosophy.

Consider this treatise only as the forerunner of a larger work in which I shall present in detail the cycle of Epicurean, Stoic, and skeptical philosophy in connection with the whole of Greek speculation. The shortcomings of this treatise in terms of form and the like will be omitted there.

Hegel has indeed correctly determined the generality of the systems mentioned as a whole; but with the admirably large and bold plan of his history of philosophy, from which the history of philosophy can only be dated, it was partly impossible to go into the individual, partly prevented the gigantic thinker from his view of what he was called speculative par excellence, to recognize in these systems the great importance that they have for the history of Greek philosophy and the Greek spirit in general. These systems are the key to the true history of Greek philosophy. There is a deeper indication of its connection with Greek life in my friend's writing Köppen "Frederick the Great and his Adversaries".

If a critique of the Plutarchic polemic against Epicurus' theology is added as an appendix: it happened because this polemic is not a single one, but rather a representative of a espèce in that it very aptly depicts the relationship of the theologizing understanding to philosophy.

In the A2 Critique, among other things, it remains unaffected how wrong Plutarch's standpoint is if he pulls philosophy before the forum of religion. Instead of all the arguments, a passage from David Hume suffices:

“It is certainly a kind of insult to philosophy to be called theirs sovereign reputation should be recognized everywhere, forces one to defend oneself at every opportunity because of its consequences and to justify oneself to every art and science that offends them. It comes to mind a king who is accused of high treason against his own subjects. "A3

Philosophy, as long as a drop of blood is still pulsing in its world-conquering, absolutely free heart, will always shout out to its opponents with Epicurus:

Asebês de, ouch ho tous tôn pollôn theous anairôn, all 'ho tas pollôn doxas theois prosaptôn.

Philosophy does not hide it. The Prometheus Confession:

haplô logô, tous pantas echthairô theous

is their own confession, their own saying against all heavenly and earthly gods who do not recognize human self-consciousness as the supreme deity. There should be nobody next to him. [262]

But she replies to the dreary March hares, who rejoice over the apparently deteriorated bourgeois position of philosophy, what Prometheus said to Hermes, who served the gods:

tês sês latreias tên emên dyspraxian,

saphôs epistas ', ouk an allaxaim' egô.

kreisson gar oimai têde latreuein petra

ê patri phynai Zêni piston angelon.

Prometheus is the most distinguished saint and martyr on the philosophical calendar.

Berlin, March 1841 [263]


corrected by Marx: this one


all emphasis of Marx