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KARLMARX1 - Economic&Philosophic humanlife .Itdoesnot...

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12/2/2010 1 Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts ‐‐ Alienated Labor What makes human life special? What distinguishes human life from animal life? Why do you prefer to be human? Difference between animal and human life “The animal is one with it’s life activity. It does not distinguish the activity from itself. It is its activity…. “But man makes his life activity itself an object of his will and consciousness. He has a conscious life activity….Conscious life activity distinguishes man from the life activity of animals. Only for this reason is he a SPECIES BEING. Or rather, he is only a self conscious being, i.e. his own life is an object for him because he is a species being. ONLY FOR THIS REASON IS HIS ACTIVITY FREE ACTIVITY.” ‐‐ from “Alienated Labor” (p. 835) It is through their labor that humans experience freedom and fulfillment “In creating a world of objects by his practical activity, in his work upon inorganic nature, man proves himself a conscious species being….Admittedly other animals produce. They build themselves nests, dwellings, like the bees, beavers, ants, etc. But an animal only produces what it immediately needs for itself or its young. It produces on sidedly, whilst man produces universally. It produces only under the dominion of immediate physical need, whilst man produces even when he is free from physical need and only truly produces FREEDOM therefrom. …(p. 835 6) Animal life v. Human life …Animals construct only in accordance with the standards and needs of the species to which they belong, while man knows how to apply the appropriate standard to the object THUS MAN appropriate standard to the object. THUS MAN CONSTRUCTS ALSO IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF BEAUTY. “IT IS JUST IN HIS WORK UPON THE OBJECTIVE WORLD THAT MAN REALLY PROVES HIMSELF AS A SPECIES BEING. THIS PRODUCTION IS HIS ACTIVE SPECIES LIFE.” (p. 836) “It is just in his work upon the objective world that man first really proves himself to be a species being, therefore, that man first really proves himself to be a species being This PRODUCTION is his active species being. This PRODUCTION is his active species life….” “In degrading spontaneous, free, activity, to a means, estranged labor makes man’s species life a means to his physical existence.” (p. 836)
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12/2/2010 2 Difference between Animal and human life Species being (gattungwesen)—a concept from Hegel: Humans are the only animals conscious of themselves as a species. This makes humans social beings Individuality can This makes humans social beings. Individuality can only be found in associating with other people. Humans are conscious of what it means to be human.
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