Marx, Epicurus, and the Origins of Historical Materialism

Book cover of Marx, Epicurus, and the Origins of Historical Materialism by Diego Fusaro

Marx, Epicurus, and the Origins of Historical Materialism

by Diego Fusaro

Translated by Anna Carnesecchi
174 pages / March 2018 / 9781912142156

Price: £48


Diego Fusaro’s monograph on Epicurus’ influence on Marx’s philosophy is multi-layered. Not only does it explain Epicureanism and its impact on a young Marx, but it also manages to do unto Marx what Marx did unto Epicurus, as Marx employed Epicurus’ critical stance toward Plato and Aristotle to drop not-so-subtle hints about the philosophy and politics of contemporary Germany.

Fusaro, described by the influential paper La Repubblica (July 2013) as “possibly the brightest star in the Italian philosophical firmament of our times”, employs Marx’s critique of nineteenth century Germany to propose a critique of the present - a critique of economic libertarianism and moral libertinism. Fusaro’s underlying argument is that we live in times that are nothing but Epicurean, where the pensée unique is dogmatic and hedonistic liberalism.

This book combines the exoteric and the esoteric. Exoterically, it analyses of Karl Marx’s long-ignored University dissertation and the influences of Greek Atomism on Marx’s thought system. Esoterically, or by implication, it analyses our contemporary world.

Fascinatingly and breathtakingly written in a flowing and fast-paced style, Anna Carnesecchi’s translation succeeds in conveying the original’s urgency and clarity in beautiful prose which satisfies scholar and layman alike.

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  • Introduction
  • The Context of the Dissertation on Democritus and Epicurus
  • The Contents of the Dissertation (1841)
  • Philosophy becomes World: a Draft of a Philosophy of History
  • Marx, Epicurus, and the Critique of Religion
  • From Atomistic Materialism to Consumerism: The Holy Family
  • Democritus and Epicurus in ‘The German Ideology’
  • The Subordination of Science in Marx and Epicurus
  • A Society of Atoms
  • Interpretation of the Clinamen Theory
  • Conclusion