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Marx and Darwin: A Literary Detective Story

Margaret A. Fay

Abstract


Two of the greatest intellectual geniuses of the nineteenth century died within a year of one another: Charles Darwin on April 19, 1882, and Karl Marx on March 14, 1883. Engels in his funeral oration at Marx's graveside drew the following parallel between their respective contributions to science: "Just as Darwin discovered the law of evolution in organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of evolution in human history." Fifty years later it was established as a "historical fact" that Marx had offered to dedicate all or part of his scientific contribution, Capital, to Darwin. How did this fact, which was totally unknown during the lives of Marx and Darwin, come to be established for the first time in the 1930s?

Keywords


Marxism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14452/MR-031-10-1980-03_5

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