, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 631-651

“The end of history ” and the fate of the philosophy of history

Abstract

The “end of history” by Fukuyama is mainly based on Hegel’s treatise of the end of history and Kojeve’s corresponding interpretation. But Hegel’s “end of history” is a purely philosophical question, i.e., an ontological premise that must be fulfilled to complete “absolute knowledge.” When Kojeve further demonstrates its “universal and homogeneous state,” Fukuyama extends it into a political view: The victory of the Western system of freedom and democracy marks the end of the development of human history and Marxist theory and practice. This is a misunderstanding of Hegel. Marx analyzes, scientifically, the historical limitation of Western capitalism and maintains, by way of a kind of revolutionary teleology, the expectation of and belief in human liberation, which is the highest historical goal. His philosophy of history is hence characterized by theoretical elements from both historical scientificalness and historical teleology.

Translated by ZHANG Lin from Zhongguo Shehui Kexue 中国社会科学 (Social Sciences in China), 2009, (1): 17–30