A Failed Parricide

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Published Nov 2016
ISBN: 9789004269781

Hegel and the Young Marx

Roberto Finelli, Università degli studi Roma Tre. Translated by Peter D. Thomas and Nicola Iannelli Popham.

According to an established interpretation, the transition from Hegel’s materialism to Marx’s materialism signifies a progressive development from an abstract-idealist theory of becoming, to a theory of the concrete actions of human beings within history. A Failed Parricide by Roberto Finelli offers an innovative reading of the Marx-Hegel relationship, arguing that the young Marx remained structurally subaltern to Hegel’s distinctive conception of the subject that becomes itself in relation to alterity. Marx’s early critique of Hegel is represented as a ‘failed parricide’, relying upon an organicist and spiritualist anthropology derived from Feuerbach’s presumed materialism. Only in Marx’s mature critique of political economy will he be able to return to this ‘primal scene’ and produce a distinctive theory of the role of formal determinations in social and political modernity.

First published in Italian by Bollati Borighieri Editore as Un parricidio mancato. Il rapporto tra Hegel e il giovane Marx, Turin, 2004.

Biographical note

Roberto Finelli is Professor of the History of Philosophy at Roma Tre. He has published numerous studies dedicated to Hegel, Marx, Freud and modern and contemporary philosophy. He is the editor of the online journal Consecutio temporum. Hegeliana. Marxiana. Freudiana (www.consecutio.org). He recently published the conclusion to his studies on the confrontation between Marx and Hegel: Un parricidio compiuto. Il confronto finale di Marx con Hegel (Jaca Book, 2014).


All interested in the history of Marxist theory, modern German philosophy and contemporary social and political philosophy.

Table of contents


1. Between the Ancient and the Modern

2. A Hegelian Sketch

3. Journalism with a Philosophical Soul

4. The Deceptive Materialism of Ludwig Feuerbach

5. An All Too Human Communism