Positivism's legacy on Marxism?

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May 13 2011 02:05
Positivism's legacy on Marxism?

What really is the relationship of positivism to Marxism? I know that Lenin railed a lot against positivism in some of his writings, but to what extent was Marxism as a whole affected by positivism?

From wikipedia:

Quote:
Positivism asserts that the only authentic knowledge is that which is based on sense, experience and positive verification. As an approach to the philosophy of science deriving from Enlightenment thinkers such as Henri de Saint-Simon and Pierre-Simon Laplace, Auguste Comte saw the scientific method as replacing metaphysics in the history of thought, observing the circular dependence of theory and observation in science.
Quote:
Comte offered an account of social evolution, proposing that society undergoes three phases in its quest for the truth according to a general 'law of three stages'. The idea bears some similarity to Marx's view that human society would progress toward a communist peak. This is perhaps unsurprising as both were profoundly influenced by the early Utopian socialist, Henri de Saint-Simon, who was at one time Comte's mentor. Both Comte and Marx intended to develop secular-scientific ideologies in the wake of European secularisation.

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