Feuerbach’s departure from the traditional philosophy of Hegel opened the door for generations of radical philosophical thought. His philosophy has long been acknowledged as the influence for much of Marx’s early writings.
Indeed, a great amount of the young Marx must remain unintelligible without reference to certain basic Feuerbachian texts. These selections, most of them previously untranslated, establish the thought of Feuerbach in an independent role. They explain his fundamental criticisms of the ‘old philosophy’ of Hegel, and advance his own humanistic thought, which finds its bases in life and sensuality. Feuerbach’s contemporaneity as an existentialist, humanist, and atheist is clearly presented, and the reader can readily grasp the liberating influence of this too-long neglected philosopher.
Professor Zawar Hanfi has written an excellent introduction establishing Feuerbach’s environment, importance, and relevance and his translations surpass most previous Feuerbach translators.
German philosopher and anthropologist LUDWIG ANDREAS VON FEUERBACH (1804-1872) was a powerful influence on Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Feuerbach's atheism is reflected in their socialist philosophies, and that humanized theology-essentially, a rational approach to understanding concepts of God and Christianity-gets its greatest exploration here. In The Essence of Christianity-this is the classic 1853 translation of the 1841 German original-Feuerbach discusses the "true or anthropological" root of religion, exploring how everything from the nature of God to the mysteries of mysticism and prayer can be viewed through such a prism. He goes on to examine the "false" essences of religion, including contradictions in ideas of the existence of a deity, and then how God and religion are merely expressions of human emotion. This is essential background reading for understanding everything from Marx's Communist Manifesto to modern apolitical philosophies of atheism.
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