The Concept of Nature in Marx

The Concept of Nature in Marx

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“Of unexpected popular relevance today when a whole new generation is beginning to ask fundamental questions about man’s relationship to nature.” —New Society

In The Concept of Nature in Marx, Alfred Schmidt examines humanity’s relation to the natural world as understood by the great philosopher-economist Karl Marx, who wrote that human beings are ‘part of Nature yet able to stand over against it; and this partial separation from Nature is itself part of their nature’. In Marx, industry and science are the mediation between historical man and external nature, leading either to reconciliation or mutual annihilation. Schmidt explores this tension between man and nature in Marx and shows how his understanding of nature is reflected in the work of writers such as Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin and Ernst Bloch.

Reviews

  • A subtle and scholarly treatment of Marx’s materialism. Schmidt’s work can be recommended as the best treatment of this much misunderstood topic ... Essential reading.

    David McLellanNew Statesman
  • Refreshingly free from dictatorial intellectualism ... An exciting scholar.

    Radical Philosophy
  • Unexpected popular relevance today when a whole new generation is beginning to ask fundamental questions about man’s relationship to nature.

    New Society