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Download Collected Works, Vol. 7: Marx and Engels: 1848 by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels PDF

By Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels

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Extra resources for Collected Works, Vol. 7: Marx and Engels: 1848

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It is only by taking this problematic point into account that the role of time in comparative analysis can be discussed: time has, in fact, an epistemological function, since it produces a homogenization on the diachronic plane. Consequently, the basic assumption of the comparison consists in the structural fixity of the interrelated categories and in the fact that differentiation shifts, in the given context, from zero degrees to the higher level of these very same categories. It is in this theoretical frame that Lafitau’s great contribution should be evaluated.

In this regard, it was actually the European observer who tended to accept whatever the most superficial explanation was, inasmuch as his observation was based on a comparative assumption that, while recognizing the similarities between “savages” and “savages” and between “savages” and ancients, also drew an important conclusion based on two premises: the first concerned the superiority of his culture; the second was related to the fact that this very same culture was phylogenetically bound to the primitive ones.

Should one proceed by analyzing only the elements that one theory incorporates and inherits from another, the 26 / the history and theory of fetishism outcome would be a mere history of influences, a history that excludes— pardon the wordplay—the exclusions. But if the need to comprehend differences pertains to historiographical analysis, then there is all the more need to include the exclusions, because this kind of inquiry is not supposed to imitate and mirror what has occurred in the history of ideas and theories.

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