The ontologization of practical man: the political theories of Marx and Arendt as a response to the 'problem of freedom' in Hume and Kant

MacDonald, Stuart Joseph (2011) The ontologization of practical man: the political theories of Marx and Arendt as a response to the 'problem of freedom' in Hume and Kant. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In this thesis, I argue that the political theories of Karl Marx and Hannah Arendt can be interpreted as responses to Kant who, in attempting to conceive of how freedom could be possible in the face of Humean scepticism, concluded that freedom was only possible outside of the phenomenal world. I argue that they share a foundation in that their political theories are ultimately responses to Kant, both of them rejecting the ontological precedence given by Kant and the majority of the thinkers throughout the history of philosophy to the abstract properties of reason and thought in humanity, and instead ontologizing the practical. From this ontological shift, Marx and Arendt ultimately grounded humanness in the practical and the worldly, by showing that although Hume's scepticism about freedom with respect to necessity may be correct, freedom is, at base, a practical question with respect to constraint, and it is only by considering it in this light that freedom can be adequately 'brought back' to the 'phenomenal' world.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9605
Item ID: 9605
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 89-93.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 2011
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Marx, Karl, 1818-1883; Arendt, Hannah, 1906-1975; Kant, Immanuel, 1724-1804; Hume, David, 1711-1776; Ontology; Liberty; Skepticism

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