outside him, as objects independent of him; yet these objects are
objects that he needs--essential objects, indispensable
to the manifestation and confirmation of his essential powers. To say
that man is a corporeal, living, real, sensual, objective-being
full of natural vigour is to say that he has real, sensual objects
as the object of his being or of his life, or that he can only express
his life in real, sensual objects. To be objective, natural
and sensual, and at the same time to have object, nature and sense outside
oneself, or oneself to be object, nature and sense for a third party,
is one and the same thing.--Hunger is a natural need; it
therefore needs a nature outside itself, an object outside
itself, in order to satisfy itself, to be stilled. Hunger is an acknowledged
need of my body for an object existing outside it, indispensable
to its integration and to the expression of its essential being. The sun
is the object of the plant--an indispensable object to it, confirming
its life--just as the plant is an object of the sun, being an expression
of the life-awakening power of the sun, of the sun's objective
essential power. A being which does not have its nature outside itself
is not a natural being, and plays no part in the system of nature.
A being which has no object outside itself is not an objective being.
A being which is not itself an object for some third being has no being
for its object; i.e., it is not objectively related. Its being
is not objective.
clear, further, that thinghood is therefore utterly without any independence,
any essentiality vis-à-vis self-consciousness; that on
the contrary it is a mere creature--something posited by self-consciousness.
And what is posited, instead of confirming itself, is but confirmation
of the act of positing which for a moment fixes its energy as the product,
and gives it the semblance--but only for a moment--of an
independent, real substance.
Whenever real, corporeal man, man with his feet firmly on the solid
ground, man exhaling and inhaling all the forces of nature, posits
his real, objective essential powers as alien objects by his
externalisation, it is not the act of positing which is the subject
in this process: it is the subjectivity of objective essential
powers, whose action, therefore, must also be something objective.
An objective being acts objectively, and he would not act objectively
if the objective did not reside in the very nature of his being.
He only creates or posits objects, because he is posited by objects
- because at bottom he is nature. In the act of positing, therefore,
this objective being does not fall from his state of pure activity into
a creating of the object; on the contrary, his objective
product only confirms his objective activity, his activity
as the activity of an objective, natural being.
Here we see how consistent naturalism or humanism is distinct from both
idealism and materialism, and constitutes at the same tune the unifying
truth of both. We see also how only naturalism is capable of comprehending
the action of world history.
<Man is directly a natural being. As a natural being
and as a living natural being he is on the one hand endowed with natural
powers, vital powers - he is an active natural being. These
forces exist in him as tendencies and abilities--as instincts.
On the other hand, as a natural, corporeal, sensual, objective being
he is a suffering, conditioned and limited creature, like animals
and plants. That is to say the objects of his instincts exist