In the Prison Notebooks Gramsci attacks the vulgar materialism of 20th century orthodox Marxism. His critique largely functions through genealogy: by tracing the development of Marxism within a broader history of philosophy, Gramsci can then locate those elements of continuity essential to its contemporary coherence and meaning. Furiously dismissing this historicity, on the other hand, orthodox theory ultimately freezes into a static sociology. Yet history itself is contested terrain, and any historical invocation implies a narrative. Gramsci’s narrative,contra that of the orthodoxy, insists on the continuous development of German Idealism to Marxism. Only through this trajectory can the objectivity of knowledge be understood. The following notes highlight the specific idealist elements which Gramsci appropriates for his own account of objectivity.They also describe the two primary theoretical innovations that Gramsci applies to idealism: the notion of superstructural knowledge and, inextricably, the socio-economic constitution of human life. As we will see, Gramsci’s notion of objectivity cannot be understood outside his introduction of social relations into the very essence of human beings.