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Sean Sayers [142]Sean P. Sayers [1]
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Profile: Sean Sayers (University of Kent at Canterbury)
  1. Sean Sayers, A Brief History.
    Radical Philosophy was born in the aftermath of the student movement of the 1960s. At that time, philosophy in British universities was very conservative and traditional. Ordinary language philosophy, the analytical approach, and the empiricist tradition were absolutely dominant. However, the student movement of the 1960s had opened young people's minds to a whole new range of radical ideas and issues. These were dismissed as not worthy of study, and excluded from discussion in philosophy departments.
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  2. Sean Sayers, Dialectic in Western Marxism.
    The fundamental principles of modern dialectical philosophy derive from Hegel. He sums them up as follows. ‘Everything is inherently contradictory ... Contradiction is the root of all movement and vitality, it is only in so far as something has a contradiction within it that it moves, has an urge and activity' (Hegel 1969, 439). In Hegel's philosophy these ideas form part of an all−embracing idealist system which portrays all phenomena ×− both natural and social ×− as subject to dialectic. Marx (...)
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  3. Sean Sayers, Ian Hunt, Analytical and Dialectical Marxism, Aldershot and Brookfield VT: Avebury, 1993.
    Hiding behind the anodyne title of this book is a work of large scope and considerable interest for the Hegelian reader. Its main purpose is to vindicate a dialectical interpretation of Marxism in the context of recent analytical Marxism. The book falls into two parts. The first contains a detailed account of the dialectical philosophy implicit in Marx's work, and of its background in the philosophies of Kant and Hegel. The second shows how this account of Marx's approach can (...)
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  4. Sean Sayers, Marxism and Actually Existing Socialism.
    I recently visited the Soviet Union. I was there for only one week, as a tourist: time to get only a very limited and superficial impression of life there. Nevertheless, it was a sobering and thought-provoking experience. For even such a brief visit forces one to confront the problems raised by the evidently unideal character of the Soviet Union and other `actually existing' socialist societies. These are amongst the greatest problems facing socialists in the world today.
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  5. Sean Sayers, Marxism and Human Nature: A Reply to Terry Eagleton.
    Something about my book, Marxism and Human Nature,1 seems to have provoked Eagleton's hostility and clouded his mind, but it is difficult to figure out what. All that is evident from his review is that he has not read the book carefully or taken the trouble to understand it properly.
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  6. Sean Sayers, Making Room for the Mental.
    According to materialism, everything that exists or happens is ultimately material or physical. In some form or other, this philosophy is a fundamental component of modern thought. For, with the development of modern science, it has become increasingly clear that natural phenomena can be described and understood in materialistic terms, without recourse to the notions of a divine creator or an immaterial human mind.
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  7. Sean Sayers, Reality and Reason Preface to the Korean Edition.
    The appearance of this Korean translation of Reality and Reason gives me the opportunity to clarify the purpose of the book and to indicate some of the areas in which my views have developed and altered in the years since it was first written. My primary aim in the book is to explain and defend the realist and materialist view that there is an objective material world of which we can have knowledge. My argument, I have now come to realise, (...)
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  8. Sean Sayers, The Concept of Alienation in Existentialism and Marxism Hegelian Themes in Modern Social Thought.
    The concept of alienation is one of the most important and fruitful legacies of Hegel's social philosophy. It is strange therefore that Hegel's own account is widely rejected, not least by writers in those traditions which have taken up and developed the concept in the most influential ways: Marxism and existentialism.
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  9. Sean Sayers, The Concept of Authenticity.
    The concept of authenticity -- the idea of `being oneself' or being `true to oneself' -- is central to modern moral thought. Yet it is a puzzling notion. This article discusses two accounts of it. Essentialism holds that each individual has a `true' nature or self. Feelings and actions are authentic when they correspond to this nature. This approach is contrasted with views of the self as a complex entity in which all parts are essential, and in which authenticity involves (...)
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  10. Sean Sayers, The Future of Marxism.
    Has Marxism a future, now that communism has collapsed throughout Eastern Europe and is in crisis everywhere else? It is often said that Marxism is discredited and refuted by these events: they signify the triumph of capitalism and the free market, the `end of history'. At the other extreme, some Marxists in the West would like to believe that history has not yet begun. For them, socialism is still a distant dream. The old regimes of the Soviet Union and Eastern (...)
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  11. Sean Sayers, The Human Impact of the Market.
    For the past decade, the government has been ruthlessly pursuing free market policies. It has introduced market forces into many walks of life previously protected from them; and it has vigorously promoted the values of the `enterprise culture'. The economic and social consequences of these policies have been dramatic and profound. On the one hand, there has been a radical economic `restructuring': a ruthless sweeping away of much that was old and inefficient, and a considerable streamlining and modernizing of the (...)
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  12. Sean Sayers, The Research Assessment Exercise in Philosophy.
    British universities have just gone through their third Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The `research output' (i.e. publications) of every participating department has been graded by panels of `experts' on a seven point scale. The purpose of this massive operation is to provide a basis for distributing funds for research. In theory, the idea of allocating these scarce resources according to the standard of the work produced seems fair and reasonable; but in philosophy, at least, that is not how things work (...)
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  13. Sean Sayers, The `Uplifting Influence' of Work and Industry.
    Le pas d'acier was conceived in 1925 at the height of enthusiasm for the Russian Revolution both in Russia and abroad. Prokofiev intended the ballet to `show the new life that had come to the Soviet Union, and primarily the construction effort.' He quotes Yakulov as saying that the ballet would portray `the uplifting influence of organised labour.' (Prokofiev 1991, 278). In its theme and its staging it is a celebration of industry and labour.
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  14. Sean Sayers, Unbounded Justice.
    According to Plato, the true philosopher will take on political power only with great reluctance. Onora O’Neill is a prominent political philosopher: specifically, a latter day Kantian and a follower of Rawls. She is also Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge and, as Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve, a crossbench Peer in the House of Lords. I have no idea whether she was at all reluctant to take on these positions. Happily, on the evidence of the present book, they do not appear (...)
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  15. Sean Sayers (2012). Marx. In Tom Angier (ed.), Ethics: the key thinkers. Bloomsbury.
  16. Sean Sayers (2012). Paul Blackledge, Marxism and Ethics. [REVIEW] International Socialism (136).
  17. Sean Sayers (2011). Alienation as a Critical Concept. International Critical Thought 1 (3):287-304.
    This paper discusses Marx’s concept of alienated (or estranged) labour, focusing mainly on his account in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. This concept is frequently taken to be a moral notion based on a concept of universal human nature. This view is criticized and it is argued that the concept of alienation should rather be interpreted in the light of Hegelian historical ideas. In Hegel, alienation is not a purely negative phenomenon; it is a necessary stage of human (...)
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  18. Sean Sayers (2011). Marx and Alienation: Essays on Hegelian Themes. Palgrave Macmillan.
    The concept of alienation: Hegelian themes in modern social thought -- Creative activity and alienation in Hegel and Marx -- The concept of labour -- The individual and society -- Freedom and the "realm of necessity" -- Alienation as a critical concept -- Private property and communism -- The division of labour and its overcoming -- Marx's concept of communism.
     
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  19. Sean Sayers (2011). MacIntyre and Modernity. In Paul Blackledge & Kelvin Knight (eds.), Virtue and Politics: Alasdair Macintyre's Revolutionary Aristotelianism. University of Notre Dame Press.
    At a time when many professional philosophers in the English speaking world have all but given up the attempt to think critically and in large scale terms about the modern world, MacIntyre's work is defiantly untimely, and greatly welcome for that. It is remarkably wide ranging, comprehensive and thought provoking. He has been described as a `revolutionary Aristotelian', but this indicates only part of the picture. His work draws on ideas not only from Marx and Aristotle, but also from analytical (...)
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  20. Sean Sayers (2011). Virtue and Politics: Alasdair MacIntyre's Revolutionary Aristotelianism. In Paul Blackledge & Kelvin Knight (eds.). University of Notre Dame Press. 79-96.
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  21. Sean Sayers (2010-). The Marx and Philosophy Review of Books.
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  22. Sean Sayers (2010). Interpretations of Marxism: Chinese and Western. In . Social Sciences Academic Press. 209-229.
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  23. Sean Sayers (2009). Labour in Modern Industrial Society. In Andrew Chitty & Martin McIvor (eds.), Karl Marx and Contemporary Philosophy. Palgrave Macmillan. 143-158.
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  24. Sean Sayers (2009). Marxism and Human Nature (Turkish Edn). Yordam Kitap.
  25. Sean Sayers (2009). Marxism and the Crisis of Capitalism. Philosophical Trends 2009 (5):19-21.
    Since 2007, capitalism has been going through its greatest crisis since the 1930s or before. In 2008, the banking system was saved from meltdown (at least for the time being) only by extensive government intervention in the USA, Britain, and a number of other countries. Stock markets all over the world plummeted. Then the crisis spread to the ‘real’ economy. A long and deep recession followed. Only now are we perhaps beginning to see what may – or may not – (...)
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  26. Sean Sayers (2009). Review: Axel Honneth: Reification: A New Look at an Old Idea. [REVIEW] Mind 118 (470):476-479.
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  27. Sean Sayers (2009). Review of David Leopold, The Young Karl Marx and Douglas Moggach, The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer. [REVIEW] Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 57 (57/58):173-80.
  28. Sean Sayers (2008). Marxist Philosophy in Britain: An Overview. Modern Philosophy 2008 (2):52-57.
    Scholarly interest in Marxist philosophy has fluctuated dramatically in the past fifty years. Before that, there was little scholarly work in Britain on Marxist philosophy or on Marxism more generally. In the nineteen fifties there were important contributions by economic theorists1 and social historians2 but academic discussion of Marx's philosophy or even of his political theory was minimal and mainly by critics.3 There were only a few philosophers who adhered to Marxism and these were mostly associated with the British Communist (...)
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  29. Sean Sayers (2008). Review of John Rawls, Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy. [REVIEW] Radical Philosophy (148):49-50.
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  30. Sean Sayers & Chen Haijuan (2008). On the Revival of Marxism: An Interview with Sean Sayers. Social Sciences Weekly (Shanghai).
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  31. Sean Sayers (2007). Dialectic and Social Criticism. Spartacus 9 (89):86-90.
    other approaches. The first of these is `material thinking' (das materielles Denken): `a contingent consciousness that is absorbed only in material stuff', a form of thought which is rooted in existing conditions and cannot see beyond them. At the `opposite extreme' is the transcendent critical method of `argumentation' (das Räsonieren), which involves `freedom from all content and a sense of vanity towards it'. The dialectical method, Hegel maintains, must `give up this freedom'. It refuses `to intrude into the immanent rhythm (...)
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  32. Sean Sayers (2007). Individual and Society in Marx and Hegel: Beyond the Communitarian Critique of Liberalism. Science and Society 71 (1):84 - 102.
    Marx's concepts of individual and society have their roots in Hegel's philosophy. Like recent communitarian philosophers, both Marx and Hegel reject the idea that the individual is an atomic entity, an idea that runs through liberal social philosophy and classical economics. Human productive activity is essentially social. However, Marx shows that the liberal concepts of individuality and society are not simply philosophical errors; they are products and expressions of the social alienation of free market conditions. Marx's theory develops from Hegel's (...)
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  33. Sean Sayers (2007). Karl Marx and His Doctrine. Spartacus (90):72-4.
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  34. Sean Sayers (2007). Marxism And Morality. Philosophical Researches 2007 (9):8-12.
    Discussion of Marxism in the Western world since the nineteen-sixties has been dominated by a reaction against Hegelian ideas.1 This agenda has been shared equally by the analytical Marxism which has predominated in the English speaking world and by the structuralist Marxism which has been the major influence in the continental tradition. The main purpose of my own work has been to reassess these attitudes.
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  35. Sean Sayers (2007). Marxism, Intellectuals and Politics. In David Bates (ed.). Palgrave-Macmillan. 152-168.
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  36. Sean Sayers (2007). Review of Alasdair MacIntyre, The Tasks of Philosophy, Selected Essays Volume 1, and Ethics and Politics, Selected Essays Volume 2. [REVIEW] Radical Philosophy 143 (143):56-58.
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  37. Sean Sayers (2007). Review of Louis Althusser, Philosophy of the Encounter: Later Writings, 1978-1987. [REVIEW] Political Studies Review 5 (2):248.
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  38. Sean Sayers (2007). The Concept of Labor: Marx and His Critics. Science and Society 71 (4):431 - 454.
    Marx conceives of labor as form-giving activity. This is criticized for presupposing a "productivist" model of labor which regards work that creates a material product — craft or industrial work — as the paradigm for all work (Habermas, Benton, Arendt). Many traditional kinds of work do not seem to fit this picture, and new "immaterial" forms of labor (computer work, service work, etc.) have developed in postindus trial society which, it is argued, necessitate a fundamental revision of Marx's approach (Hardt (...)
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  39. Sean Sayers (2006). Freedom and the 'Realm of Necessity'. In Douglas Moggach (ed.), The New Hegelians: Politics and Philosophy in the Hegelian School. Cambridge University Press.
    The realm of freedom actually begins only where labour which is determined by necessity and mundane considerations ceases; thus in the very nature of things it lies beyond the sphere of actual material production. Just as the savage must wrestle with Nature to satisfy his wants, to maintain and reproduce life, so must civilized man, and he must do so in all social formations and under all possible modes of production. With his development this realm of physical necessity expands as (...)
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  40. Sean Sayers (2006). Religion and Politics in the Modern World. Modern Philosophy 4:1-11.
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  41. Sean Sayers (2006). Serge Prokofiev, Le Pas d'Acier 1925, DVD Set. In . Idm Ltd and Ahrc.
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  42. Sean Sayers (2006). The Edinburgh Dictionary of Continental Philosophy. In John Protevi (ed.). Edinburgh University Press. 22, 107, 149-50, 170-1, 286-7, 3.
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  43. Sean Sayers (2006). The New Hegelians: Politics and Philosophy in the Hegelian School. In Douglas Moggach (ed.). Cambridge University Press. 261-274.
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  44. Sean Sayers (2006). The Yale Dictionary of Continental Philosophy. In John Protevi (ed.). Yale University Press. 22, 107, 149-50, 170-1, 286-7, 3.
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  45. Sean Sayers (2005). Why Work? Marx and Human Nature. Science and Society 69 (4):606 - 616.
    Why work? Most people say that they work only as a means to earn a living. This is also implied by the hedonist account of human nature which underlies utilitarianism and classical economics. It is argued in this paper that Marx’s concept of alienation involves a more satisfactory theory of human nature which is rooted in Hegel’s philosophy. According to this, we are productive beings and work is potentially a fulfilling activity. The fact that it is not experienced as such (...)
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  46. Sean Sayers (2004). Relativism. International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):123-124.
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  47. Sean Sayers (2004). Review of Adriaan T. Peperzak, Modern Freedom: Hegel's Legal, Moral, and Political Philosophy. [REVIEW] Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 49:158-163.
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  48. Sean Sayers (2004). Review of Iseult Honohan, Civic Republicanism. [REVIEW] Philosophical Books 45 (3):269-271.
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  49. Sean Sayers (2004). Review of Paul O'Grady, Relativism. [REVIEW] International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):123-124.
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  50. Sean Sayers (2004). Political Philosophy. Philosophical Books 45 (3):267-271.
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