In the Grundrisse, Marx achieved what few other sociologists wanted to do: that is to use his writings to analyze the actual act of thinking about thinking. Within the Grundrisse, he claims that it is essential for the scholar or the philosopher to determine the proper level of abstraction in order to grasp the concrete nature of things.
As a rule the most general abstractions arise only in the midst of the richest possible concrete development, where one thing appears as common to many. It follows that we need to go beyond partial explanations in order to track down the actual, efficient causes. . . at that level of abstraction where the individual causes all act together" (Marx, 1844, 1978, 203).
Where Marx concentrated primarily on the "needs" of man, Durkheim considered the "wants." In most of his works, he sees man