Philosophical Heavyweights: Marx Versus Plato

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Karl Marx and Plato are two names heard all across the world. Their names ring in halls of philosophy everywhere, and their ideas run rampant in the heads of bright young thinkers. Karl Marx was a very prominent and influential philosopher from Germany. While Marx addressed a wide range of issues, he is most famous for his analysis of history in terms of class struggles, made very evident in his book titled The Communist Manifesto. Marx took a very strong stand against social oppression and was a very active political economist and social revolutionary. Plato was a revolutionary from many centuries before Marx. Plato was a very influential Greek philosopher who gave lectures on many topics, and expressed several of his ideas through his written dialogues, which have been preserved through the years.

Marx and Plato were two very significant thinkers in history whose ideas are still discussed and dissected in lecture halls across the world. Their thoughts on self, freedom, identity and society still challenge perceptions and beliefs and hold clout in many philosophical debates. These two men, however significant their ideas may be, both have defining qualities of their own. Their views on the concept of self highlights some key differences between the two thinkers. These differences affect the view of freedom for both of them.

To Marx, you are a pattern of behaviors. This is your being, your core. The core cannot be changed. There is, however, a state of constant changes; changes that define the self. We invent ourselves and create who we are through our actions and activities. The Marxist self is located in the reactions between an individual and society. To Marx, the self is simply our human behavior, and it can become whatever we may create it to be through our creative activity. Marx believed that doing and becoming is achieved through creativity and inventing. There is no defined or essential nature to the Marxist self, or...
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