On the tomb of Karl Marx you will find the following inscription, taken

from one of his Theses on Feuerbach: ‘The Philosophers have only

interpreted the world in various ways; the point however is to change

it’. The first part of this statement reflects a commonplace idea about

philosophy – that it is primarily an abstract and self-referential enter-

prise, which has little to say about people’s lives and the social and

political circumstances in which they are lived. The second part

suggests that philosophy is at least somewhat the worse for this fact.