Nineteenth Century Philosophy

Ludwig Andreas Von Feuerbach

What kind of a materialist was Ludwig Feuerbach?

Feuerbach was an historical materialist. He sought to bring out the implicit Hegelian assumption that “truth, reality, and sensibility are identical.” But Feuerbach thought that by locating reason and consciousness in the Absolute, Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) had alienated man’s essence from him. He asserted that “only a sensible being is a real, true being,” and that thought is the product of this human being, and not the other way around. God or the Absolute is no more than the appearance of ourselves to ourselves. The work of philosophy was to begin with man, in his situation. Man was neither mere matter nor consciousness alone.


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