What is the meaning of Marx's statement "Philosophers have so far interpreted the world. The point, however, is to change it" regarding literature?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The full statement reads: "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." It comes from Marx's 1845 paper "Theses on Feuerbach." The meaning of the statement in literary terms is that most writing in Marx's time tended to repeat the philosophical ideas that came before it; because people tend to agree with their favorite authors, the philosophies used in writing almost always agreed with the original interpretations of philosophers. Because of this, the world rarely changed in any substantial way. Marx believed that writing, both in philosophy and other areas, should present new ideas and new ideals that can be studied and adopted. This would result in substantive changes to the world, and increase the likelihood of Marx's own philosophies being adopted at a wider level.


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