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Publication Details

Engels and the Problem of Freedom

(Original title: Engels a problém slobody)
Filozofia, 26 (1971), 2, 136-144.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
It was Engels who, to a certain extent, also contributed by means of some formulations about the relation of freedom and inevitability in the well-known chapter of his Anti-Diihring to the presentation and representation of the Marxist conception of freedom as a thesis of freedom qua the known inevitability. When Engels picked out Hegel’s merit of having connected the comprehension of freedom with the knowledge of inevitability, he used the multisignificant verb “darstellen“ in the direct context with the adverb “richtig“, which in scientific literature acquired the explicit meaning “truthfully“. Thus Hegel’s s conception of freedom could be presented as truthful and as such one, which Engels endorsed. This hidden potentiality of interpreting Engels’ text has really been used in some translations of Engels’ work. The author of this paper confronts, though, Hegel’s conception of freedom and Engels’ text and claims that Engels conceives the knowledge of inevitability only as a prerequisite of freedom and not as freedom itself; nor could Engels as a materialist and revolutionary endorse the conceptionof freedom as a recognized inevitability and the logical consequences to which Hegel’s conception offreedom leads. The recognized inevitability remains inevitability only, recognized, of course. A recognized inevitability is not yet freedom, hut only a prerequisite of man’s freedom, i. e. by recognizing the inevitability the man only creates a possibility of letting the objective inevitabilities work for his certain aims. The author points out further certain kinds of inevitabilities and thus also the possibility of using them for certain aims of man, so that he can finally pick out a certain special kind or a special level of inevitabilities, at which freedom itself becomes an inevitability for man and such a recognized inevitability becomes his freedom.
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