At the invitation of Professor Qu Hongmei, deputy Dean of The School of Philosophy and Society, Sean Sayers, a famous British Marxist philosopher and Emeritus Professor of University of Kent, delivered a lecture entitled "Marx and Teleology" on April 19th, 2022. The lecture was hosted by Professor Qu Hongmei. More than one hundred of teachers and students from Jilin University and the other universities and institutes participated in the lecture and had a heated discussion with Professor Sayers.
During the lecture, Prof. Sayers showed his respect for the invitation. He presented his lecture on the base of the article, “Marx and Teleology”, which was published in Science and Society in 2019. Prof. Sayers argues that Marx sees history as a progressive development and this point is often criticized for portraying history in a Hegelian fashion as a single teleological process culminating ultimately in a classless communist society. However, Prof. Sayers believes that this criticism is not justified. Through a critical discussion of Althusser’s view that history is a process without a subject, he thinks that Marxism can be best seen as a theory that involves a naturalistic concept of teleology and describes the historical emergence of the human subject. In fact, Prof. Sayers points out that this interpretation is supported by comparison of Marx’s theory of history with Darwinian evolutionary theory.
In the end, quite a few of the students interested in Prof. Sayers’ point made a wonderful discussion with him. And Prof. Sayers said he also learned a lot from the questions and comments.
( By Jiang Haoliang)