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Showing posts from July 25, 2021

dead horses - Frederick Engels on animals

  Dead Horses I have always had a soft spot for Frederick Engels. In spite of the man’s obvious gifts, he will forever be the annotation to his friend Marx: the follower, the supporter, the man on whom Marx depended, the man whose own writings are folded into Marx’s. It was his fate to be a part of another man’s gigantic whole. But the part speaks. In fact, Engels wrote well. He thought not only in terms of the categories Marx so laboriously forged, but also in terms of the philosophy he studied in his youth – thus the odd flotsam of natural philosophy that float to the surface of his works from the 1880s, like the Dialectic of Nature, works that have been viewed, alternately, as embarrassing anachronisms or illuminations of … Marx. I was reading Keith Thomas’ Man and the Natural world last night. Thomas quotes a passage from Engels that I had to look up, so I did this morning. It is from the Dialectic of Nature: “Comparison with animals proves that this explanation of the origin of