Immanuel Kant And Karl Marx

3524 Words Dec 12th, 2014 15 Pages
In an effort to understand progress and its goal in humanity, philosophers Immanuel Kant and Karl Marx each present their theories with Kant believing progress is made through the reform brought on by antagonism and social instability in humanity which will ultimately lead to perpetual peace, while Marx argues progress comes in the form of a worker’s revolution and the adoption of true communism that will lead to utopia. These German thinkers seek to define the guiding the force beneath humanity’s constant state of evolution to understand where it is headed and advise towards a goal they find ideal for humanity.
Through an analysis of human characteristics, Immanuel Kant concludes progress is driven by humanity’s innate behavior of contempt for one another, which he refers to as antagonism. In Kant’s essay “On Universal History”, his fourth thesis states, “The means employed by Nature to bring about the development of all the capacities of men is their antagonism in society, so far as this is, in the end, the cause of a lawful order among men.” By this, Kant means that man finds himself in mutual opposition with his peers, but this opposition, as deemed by nature, is the force driving mankind’s development. According to Kant, man has a conflicting, natural tendency to both associate and isolate himself from others. The former because society gives him the ability to feel he is more developed than his individual capacities allow for, and the latter is a consequence of his…

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