From 700 to 500 B.C., thinkers around the world began to turn to fundamental philosophical questions. This episode focuses on those whose concerns addressed this world and its pragmatic issues through rational inquiry, including Confucius, the Legalists, and the Greek philosophers known as the Ionian Rationalists.
In the fullness of time, his failings have become obvious. Yet, even after the collapse of global Communism, Karl Marx stands undiminished as one of history’s most influential thinkers. This program chronicles Marx’s life and intellectual development, including the publication and impact of his major writings. Beginning with his birth and religiously confused childhood in Prussia, the video traces Marx’s student years and his early affinity for Hegel, outlines his radicalization in Paris and Brussels, and describes his friendship and partnership with Friedrich Engels. Incorporating insightful commentary by Dr. Merold Westphal of Fordham University and spoken-word excerpts from Das Kapital, The Communist Manifesto, the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, the Theses on Feuerbach, and other works by Marx and his collaborators, this concise philosophical biography helps viewers understand the human dimension of the Marxist ethos. It shows that despite his theoretical shortcomings and overreaching idealism, Karl Marx formulated a worldview based on compassion for working people and anger at the dehumanizing aspects of 19th-century capitalism.