Stories of Emancipation and the Idea of Creative Praxis: Karl Marx and John Dewey

  • Ulf Schulenberg


Karl Marx’s story of emancipation is well known; it focuses on the emancipation of the working class, the proletarians finally throwing off their chains. Throughout this book, the Rortyan notion of “redemptive truth” plays a crucial role, that is, the idea of a single set of beliefs in combination with the attempt to fit everything into a single context. In the case of Marxism, this is of course the context of the class struggle. However, in this chapter Schulenberg tells the Marxian story of emancipation from a different perspective. Instead of concentrating on the class struggle, one could focus on Marx’s understanding of sensuous practical activity and creative praxis (or the subject’s process of aesthetic emancipation). Hence, Schulenberg compares Marx’s idea of “praktische, menschlich-sinnliche Tätigkeit” and creative praxis with that of John Dewey as he develops in Art as Experience (1934). For both philosophers, the human subject’s creative praxis is of the utmost importance. It is this parallel that adds to one’s understanding of the relation between Marxism and pragmatism.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulf Schulenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BremenBremenGermany

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