Marxist Anthropology Through the Lens of the Philosophy of Language

Engels, Li Zehou and Tran Duc Thao on the Origins of Humankind and Human Language

Authors

  • YANG Xiaobo Zhejiang Yuexiu University, Shaoxing, China

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2023.11.3.251-273

Keywords:

Friedrich Engels, Li Zehou, Tran Duc Thao, Marxist anthropology, philosophy of language, origins of language

Abstract

Marxist anthropology, as a kind of philosophical anthropology and an integral part of Marxist philosophy, seeks to find an answer to the question of its primary concern—what is humanity or human nature? From the Marxist perspective, human beings are distinguished from animals by making and using tools, and the creation of tools is closely related to the birth of language and consciousness. In this context, Marxist anthropology tries to trace the origin of humankind through tracing that of tools, language and consciousness. Consequently, it is endowed with a dimension of the philosophy of language. In his article “The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man”, Engels proposed a hypothesis on the origins of humankind and human language, which constructed the framework of Marxist anthropology. This framework was subsequently adopted and developed by Li Zehou and Tran Duc Thao, renowned philosophers in contemporary China and Vietnam, in establishing their own philosophical systems. This article, through illuminating and comparing Engels, Li Zehou and Tran Duc Thao’s hypotheses on the origins of humankind and human language, aims to shed new light on Marxist anthropology through the lens of the philosophy of language. I believe that this exploration will profoundly inspire the Marxist philosophy of language, an emerging trend in the field of the philosophy of language.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

D’Alonzo, Jacopo. 2018. “Tran-Duc-Thao and the Language of Real Life.” Language Sciences 70 (6): 45‒57. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2018.06.007

de Saussure, Ferdinand. 2011. Course in General Linguistics. Translated by Wade Baskin. New York: Columbia University Press.

Engels, Frederick. 1987. “The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man.” Translated by Clemens Dutt. In Karl Marx, Frederick Engels: Collected Works, vol. 25, edited by Eric Hobsbawm et al., 311‒588. New York: International Publisher.

Lecercle, Jean-Jacques. 2006. A Marxist Philosophy of Language. Translated by Gregory Elliott. Leidon and Boston: Brill. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789047408482

Li, Zehou 李澤厚. 2007. Pipan zhexue de pipan: Kangde shuping 批判哲學的批判:康德述評 (Critique of the Critical Philosophy: Kant in a New Key). Beijing: Shenghuo dushu xinzhi sanlian shudian.

——. 2008a. Shiyong lixing yu legan wenhua 實用理性與樂感文化 (Pragmatic Reason and a Culture of Optimism). Beijing: Shenghuo dushu xinzhi sanlian shudian.

——. 2008b. Lishi bentilun & Jimao wu shuo 歷史本體論·己卯五說 (Historical Ontology and Five Essays from 1999). Beijing: Shenghuo dushu xinzhi sanlian shudian.

——. 2011. “Liushi niandai cangao 六十年代殘稿 (Residual Manuscripts from the 1960s).” Zhongguo wenhua 中國文化 (Chinese Culture) 34 (2): 201‒07.

Li, Zehou 李澤厚, and Liu Xuyuan 劉緒源. 2011. Gai Zhongguo zhexue dengchang le? Li Zehou 2011 nian tanhualu 該中國哲學登場了?李澤厚2010年談話錄 (It’s Time for Chinese Philosophy to Go on Stage? Conversations with Li Zehou in 2010). Shanghai: Shanghai yiwen chubanshe.

——. 2012. Zhongguo zhexue ruhe dengchang? Li Zehou 2011 nian tanhualu 中國哲學如何登場?李澤厚2011年談話錄 (How Could Chinese Philosophy Go on Stage? Conversations with Li Zehou in 2011). Shanghai: Shanghai yiwen chubanshe.

Li, Zehou 李澤厚, and Liu Zaifu 劉再復. 2009. “Cunzai de zuihou ‘jiayuan’——Duitanlu 存在的最後「家園」——對談錄 (The “Last Homeland” of Being: A Dialogue).” Dushu 讀書 (Readings) 11: 25‒28.

Lin, Yuanze 林遠澤. 2019. Cong Hede dao Mide: Maixiang goutong gongtongti de Deguo gudian yuyan zhexue silu 從赫德到米德:邁向溝通共同體的德國古典語言哲學思路 (From Herder to Mead: The Classical German Philosophy of Language Towards the Communicative Community). Taibei: Lianjing chuban shiye gufen youxian gongsi.

Liu, Zaifu 劉再復, and Li Zehou 李澤厚. 2010. “Ershiyi shiji de zhexue zhanwang——Duitanlu 二十一世紀的哲學展望——對談錄 (The Prospects of Philosophy in the 21st Century: A Dialogue).” Dushu 讀書 (Readings) 1: 60‒67.

Marx, Karl. 1975. Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. Translated by Martin Milligan, and Dirk J. Struik. In Karl Marx, Frederick Engels: Collected Works, vol 3, edited by Eric Hobsbawm et al., 229‒346. New York: International Publisher.

——. 1996. Capital, vol.1. Translated by Samuel Moore, and Edward Aveling. In Karl Marx, Frederick Engels: Collected Works, vol. 35, edited by Eric Hobsbawm et al., 1‒852. New York: International Publisher.

Marx, Karl, and Frederick Engels. 1975. The German Ideology. Translated by Clemens Dutt, W. Lough, and C. P. Magill. In Karl Marx, Frederick Engels: Collected Works, vol. 5, edited by Eric Hobsbawm et al., 19‒661. New York: International Publisher.

Ricoeur, Paul. 1979. Main Trends in Philosophy. New York, London: Holmes & Meier Publishers, Inc.

Rošker, Jana S. 2020. “Li Zehou’s Ethics and the Structure of Confucian Pragmatic Reason.” Asian Studies 8 (1): 37‒55. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2020.8.1.37-55

Ruan, Guangxiong 阮光熊, and Ruan Yingjun 阮英俊. 2011. “Jin jishinian Yuenan de Shehuizhuyi yanjiu: Wenti he qianjing 近幾十年越南的社會主義研究:問題和前景 (Studies of Socialism in Vietnam in Recent Decades: Problems and Prospects).” Translated by Tong Jianting 童建挺. Guowai lilun dongtai 國外理論動態 (Foreign Theoretical Trends), 419 (1): 62‒63+67.

Trân, Duc Thao. 1984. Investigations into the Origin of Language and Consciousness. Translated by Daniel J. Herman, and Robert L. Armstrong. Dordrecht, Boston, Lancaster: D. Reidel Publishing Company.

­­——. 1986. Phenomenology and Dialectical Materialism. Translated by Daniel J. Herman, and Donald V. Morano. Dordrecht, Boston, Lancaster, Tokyo: D. Reidel Publishing Company.

Yang, Xiaobo 楊曉波. 2020a. “Rediscovering Li Zehou: From the Perspective of Philosophy of Language.” Philosophy Compass 15 (5): 1‒10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/phc3.12664

——. 2020b. “Lun Li Zehou de ‘Yuyan pipan’ 論李澤厚的「語言批判」 (On Li Zehou’s Critique of Language).” Zhexue yu wenhua 哲學與文化 (Universitas-Monthly Review of Philosophy and Culture) 47 (3): 153‒65.

Downloads

Published

7. 09. 2023

How to Cite

Yang, Xiaobo. 2023. “Marxist Anthropology Through the Lens of the Philosophy of Language: Engels, Li Zehou and Tran Duc Thao on the Origins of Humankind and Human Language”. Asian Studies 11 (3): 251-73. https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2023.11.3.251-273.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 323

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.