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Issue 48 of SHAPE journal articles on Max Eastman's Marxism Science or Philosophy essay

The Team

Jim Schofield - Editor

Physicist, Philosopher, Marxist, Multimedia Expert, Mathematician, Author, Sculptor.

Dr. Peter Mothersole -

Senior Lecturer in Computing, Physicist, Photographer, Constructivist, Software Developer, Philosopher.

Mick Schofield -
Art Director

Graphic Designer, Writer, Photographer, Music Producer,
Digital Artist, Webmaster

Issue 48
Marxism: Science & Philosophy

The Real Philosophical Stance:
Or is Marxism Science or Philosophy?

Marxism: Science or Philosophy
by Max Eastman (1935)

Notes on Max Eastman’s
Marxism: Science or Philosophy?

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Welcome to the 48th Issue of the SHAPE Journal.

This new edition closely examines and evaluates an essay by Max Eastman from 1935 entitled Marxism: Science or Philosophy? Originally published in New International the work is now public domain, and has been reproduced here alongside two critical essays by Marxist philosopher Jim Schofield.

Eastman's piece attempts to undermine Marxism from a purportedly materialist standpoint, using Hegel's idealism against Marx. He wrote it at a crucial point in his own trajectory abandoning the socialist views of his youth for free market advocacy and eventually conservative ideology - Eastman's anti-communist writing in the 1950s played a formative role in the policies of McCarthyism.

There is still a role to play here for Eastman's writing, however, in the debate regarding the role of Philosophy in Science - the argument about where idealism ends and materialism begins, how science alone cannot answer all our questions.

While Eastman may have had an argument regarding the “forcible imposition” of Marxist Philosophy by Stalinist bureaucrats, he made the same mistake as them, in fundamentally missing the point of Dialectical Materialism, and its revolutionary potential not only for society, but in the sciences as well.

Mick Schofield
FEB 2017