(or XXVI, Marx's numeral is obscure; page physically backs text on XXIII - or XXIV if you interpret the numeral on that page differently)

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

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