Who is Joseph Dietzgen?June 25, 2021
Marxist philosopher and labor leader (1828-1888).
He was born in 1828 in Germany. A completely self-taught worker, Dietzgen was a leather worker like his father. He introduced the philosophy of “dialectical materialism” very soon after and independently of Marx and Engels. Later, when he discovered the works of Marx and Engels, he became one of their foremost advocates.
Dietzgen’s most important contributions to the philosophy of Marxism were in the field of epistemology. He explained consciousness as an ideal product of the material world, which he called “universum”, as reality existing and acting externally and independently of consciousness. According to him, knowing consists of forms arising from sensations and developing from relative directness to absolute truth. This accuracy of knowing is a picture of the outside world, measured by one’s experience.
Dietzgen has lived and worked in Germany, Russia and the USA. Feuerbach’s great influence is seen in his early works. He was a militant materialist.
He died in 1888 in Chicago, USA and was buried there.