Historical Materialism

Historical materialism (aka. histomat) is the metatheory of societal development that undergirds the Marxist “research programme” on the genesis, structure, and change of social formations, from primitive communism to the advanced communist society of the future. Although Marx himself modestly described the materialist conception of history as the “guiding thread” of his studies, the materialist conception of history is not simply a heuristic tool for the analysis of history, but presupposes and projects a substantive onto-theo-teleological philosophy of history with a practical intent.

Through a cross-reading of Hegel's dialectical philosophy and Feuerbach's materialist anthropology, the young Marx initially developed historical materialism as a philosophical anthropology and only later, from 1845–1846 onwards, as a philosophically informed sociological theory of historical development. Marx outlined the principles of ...

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