David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Inquiry 25 (4):451 – 469 (1982)
Marx may be taken to hold that productive forces (e.g. the steam engine) explain productive relations (e.g. capitalism) more than the other way on, and that productive relations explain superstructures (e.g. the legal system) more than the other way on. There are no satisfactory standard causal understandings of these claims about explanatory primacy. That is, no standard causal understanding saves Marx from the traditional objection that relations very greatly affect forces, and superstructures very greatly affect relations. One satisfactorily articulated attempt to save Marx has been the attempt to understand the claims teleologically. Three such understandings can be distinguished, but they do not work. The first fails since it attempts to explain events by way of abstract objects. The second fails since it attempts to explain a thing by means of that thing. The third fails for a related reason. Each understanding also fails for another reason as fundamental. So?called teleological explanations are in fact claims that standard causal explanations exist, which relevant explanations conflict with the ruling idea of Marx's philosophy, that history is somehow independent of men's consciousness and wills. There may be no evidence that Marx himself intended historical materialism to be understood teleologically. There may be evidence against
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Jon Elster (1986). Ulysses and the Sirens. Philosophy and Public Affairs 15 (1):82-95.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
G. A. Cohen (1982). Functional Explanation, Consequence Explanation, and Marxism. Inquiry 25 (1):27 – 56.
Allen W. Wood (1986). Historical Materialism and Functional Explanation. Inquiry 29 (1-4):11 – 27.
Sean Sayers (1984). Marxism and the Dialectical Method: A Critique of G.A. Cohen. Radical Philosophy 36 (36):4-13.
Joel Dickman (1990). Two Qualms About Functionalist Marxism. Philosophy of Science 57 (4):631-643.
Douglass C. North (1986). Is It Worth Making Sense of Marx? Inquiry 29 (1-4):57 – 63.
Colin Farrelly (2005). Historical Materialism and Supervenience. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (4):420-446.
Charles W. Mills (1989). Is It Immaterial That There's a 'Material' in 'Historical Materialism'? Inquiry 32 (3):323 – 342.
Sean Sayers (1980). Forces of Production and Relations of Production in Socialist Society. Radical Philosophy 24 (24):19-26.
Added to index2009-03-05
Total downloads8 ( #315,859 of 1,780,191 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #291,056 of 1,780,191 )
How can I increase my downloads?