Feuerbach, Ludwig (1804-1872)

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German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–1872) is now a relatively obscure figure and yet he played a key role in the German intellectual scene in the middle of the nineteenth century. He received his training from Hegel but moved away from Hegel's absolute idealism early on. In his mature work he sought to reuse aspects of the Hegelian method to propose a new, materialist theory of knowledge, and, most famously, of religious belief. He was a major influence on the budding socialist movement in Germany and on the young Marx in particular. It is in that respect at first that he counts as an interesting figure in the prehistory of sociological disciplines. However, his writings deserve to be studied for themselves, as they contain many rich insights that anticipate, sometimes in amazing ways, concepts and arguments propounded by sociologists and social theorists a century or more later.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Blackwell encyclopedia of sociology
EditorsGeorge Ritzer, J. Michael Ryan, Betsy Thorn
Place of PublicationMalden, USA
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781405165518
ISBN (Print)9781405124331
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Feuerbach
  • Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 1770-1831
  • Sociology
  • I/Thou
  • Marx
  • social psychology


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