The underground man of the 19th century: A comparative study on Nietzsche and Marx

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy, Turkey

Approval Date: 2013


Supervisor: BARIŞ PARKAN


In this thesis I searched for an Underground Man in Nietzsche and Marx. My search depends on an epistemological ascertainment. Kant’s argument that the human mind cannot achieve knowledge of the thing-in-itself lies in the background of my thesis. I think that this argument is connected with the origins of modern philosophy. My thesis is concentrated on the 19th century. I perceived that with Kant’s argument the fact that we can know this world within a subjective framework is emphasized especially in this century. The emphasis on a subjective framework is grounded on Kant’s philosophy. This emphasis has a significant role in the epistemological arguments of Nietzsche and Marx. They also insist on the role of subjective contribution in knowledge. However their attitude towards epistemology is different from Kantian philosophy in that they emphasize social, historical and economical conditions. Thus, I call attention to the fact that they transpose epistemology into a social and historical context. My conception of the Underground Man is born in this social context. My thesis aims at making room for an analysis of the Underground Man who is conceived in opposition to the Kantian understanding of the subject, in the context of are Nietzsche’s and Marx’s social and epistemological analyses.