10 Pages

On the materialist concept of history

This first major public presentat ion by Szabó was prepared for the discussion held in January 1903 in the Budapest Sociological Society about Recent Trends in Sociology. The main speaker was the ‘sociologist’ Gustáv Leopold, who r e p - resented the ‘ teleological school’ of Rudolf Stammler. The debate focused on the merits and shortcomings of the ‘ organic theory’ , which had been the prevailing approach to society in Hungary . The majority of the speakers criticized this school and the discussion amounted to its final defeat. Szabo’s intervention marked the first occasion of the presentat ion of Marxism at a scholarly gather ing with complete scientific argumentation. At the same time, he included his doubts about the str ict determinism, character is t ic of the German Marxist school of the age , and thus offered a s t r ingen t , but not r igid, system of social laws to the Hungarian social scient i s t s , instead of the obsolete biological model of explanat ions.