The Game of Contradictions

The Philosophy of Friedrich Engels and Nineteenth Century Science


Editor / Translator:
What is the nature of the ‘laws’ that Marx and Engels sought to formulate for the development of capitalism? How to understand and judge Engels's attempt to formulate a general philosophy and worldview? These are the questions highlighted in this magnificent work that situates Marx and Engels’s writing against the background of the entire nineteenth-century world of scientific problems, from physics to historiography.

One of the major contributions to scholarship on Marx, Engels and nineteenth-century science, Liedman’s work is here presented in English translation and with a new preface by the author.

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Sven-Eric Liedman, Professor Emeritus of the History of Ideas at the University of Gothenburg, has been reading and writing about Karl Marx for over fifty years. His textbook on political ideologies (originally titled From Plato to Lenin in 1972, rechristened From Plato to the War Against Terrorism in 2014) has been through fourteen editions.
Preface to the English Translation

The Game of Contradictions



Part One
1 Back to Hegel

2 The Rational Method

3 Engels on Marx and Hegel

4 The Encounter with the Natural Sciences

Part Two
5 The Return of the Systems

6 Conservation of Energy, and Systems

7 Darwinism: Hypothesis or Worldview?

8 The Human Sciences

9 Facts and Laws about Humanity

10 Texts, Structures and Systems

Part Three
11 Engels’s Four Periods

12 The Literary Sources

13 The Direct Inspirations

14 Theory and Empiricism: The Three Tendencies

15 Inorganic Nature

16 Biology and Human Science

Part Four
17 Ideology and Science

18 The Debates on Darwinism and Socialism

19 Engels and Ideology

Sources and Literature
Index of Subjects
Scholars of Marx and Engels, Marxism and natural sciences, theories of science in the nineteenth century, dialectical materialism, nature philosophy, the role of science in the theory of capitalism.
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