A detailed examination of post-Marxist political theory, focusing especially on the work of Laclau, Habermas, and Derrida. Devenney identifies common concerns between these theorists and demostrates how the respective strenghts of each compliment the weaknesses of the other.
This book is the first comprehensive guide and introduction to the central theorists in the post-marxist intellectual tradition. In jargon free language it seeks to unpack, explain, and review many of the key figures behind the rethinking of the legacy of Marx and Marxism in theory and practice. Key thinkers covered include Cornelius Castoriadis, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Deleuze and Guattari, Laclau and Mouffe, Agnes Heller, Jacques Derrida, Jurgen Habermas and post-Marxist feminism. Underlying the whole text is the central question: What (...) is Post-Marxism? Each chapter covers a key thinker or contribution and thus can be read as a stand alone introduction to the principal aspects of their approach. Each chapter is also followed by a summary of key points with a guide to further reading. Key Thinkers from Critical Theory to Post-Marxism provides an ideal introduction to a hitherto complex subject and will be essential reading for all students of contemporary social and political inquiry today. (shrink)
This book provides a critical overview of the entirety of Marcuse's work and discusses his enduring importance. Kellner had extensive interviews with Marcuse and provides hitherto unknown information about his road to Marxism, his relations with Heidegger and Existentialism, his involvement with the Frankfurt School, and his reasons for appropriating Freud in the 1950s. In addition Kellner provides a novel interpretation of the genesis and structure of Marcuse's theory of one-dimensional society, of the development of his political theory, and (...) of the role of aesthetics in his critical theory. (shrink)
This book examines the introduction of Marxist philosophy to China from the early 1920s to the mid 1940s. It does this through an examination of the philosophical activities and writings of four Chinese Marxist philosophers central to this process. These are Qu Qiubai, Ai Siqi, Li Da and Mao Zedong. The book sets the philosophical writings of these philosophers in the context of the development of Marxist philosophy internationally, and examines particularly the influence on these philosophers of Soviet Marxist philosophy. (...) It argues that these Chinese Marxist philosophers’ interpretations of Marxist philosophy were quite orthodox when judged by the standards of contemporary Soviet Marxism. The book explores core themes in Marxist philosophy in China, including the dilemma of determinism, and investigates the way in which these Chinese Marxist philosophers sought a formula for the ‘Sinification’ of Marxist philosophy that both retained the universal dimensions of Marxism and allowed its application to the Chinese context. The book concludes with analysis of the role of the Yanan New Philosophy Association in developing from Soviet Marxist philosophy the philosophical dimension of Mao Zedong Thought, the official ideology of the Chinese Communist Party after 1945. (shrink)
Critical pedagogy speaks of teachers as liberating and transformative intellectuals. Yet their voice is absent from its discourse. The emancipatory action research, described in this article, created a dialogue between teachers and the ideas concerning oppression and liberation found in Neo-Marxist pedagogies. It strongly suggests that teachers can contribute to the further development of these ideas. It indicates that Critical Theory's perceptions of the totality of oppression were largely accepted by these teachers after their own inner-reflective processes. Yet, the teachers (...) rejected the dyadic perception of oppressors and oppressed, and that of the ‘victimization’ of the subject, as they perceived such an approach to weaken the subject and exempt him/her from the struggle for liberation.They also highlighted the problematic aspects of positive utopia, which many of the critical pedagogies share, and offered a modest, yet intellectually rich perception of the struggle for liberation. As opposed to the static positive utopia that many of Neo-Marxist pedagogies offer, they suggested a dynamic and subjective perception of liberation; one that is neither restricted by the past nor by locality.This research suggests that teachers could well make a valuable contribution to the formation of a new counter-education. And that the development of a new pedagogical language in education could benefit by being done with them rather than for them. (shrink)
The issue concerning the crisis of Marxism has had a wide range of interpretations and has promoted debate and controversy. During the Cold War anti-communist hysteria and coming from a radical perspective, Castoriadis re-opened and participated in the above debate. Directing his critique against the theory and practice of Marxism, Castoriadis considered the crisis of Marxism as a crisis of Marx’s original thought as well. The degeneration of Marxism and the loss of its radical character were (...) attributed to its transformation into a semi-religious dogma and a closed theoretical system. Castoriadis returned, again, to this issue after Althusser`s public announcement of the crisis of Marxism in 1977. This paper discusses Castoriadis’s important, but still neglected fierce critique of the Althusser`s views and argues that it prompts a re-appreciation of considerable issues for contemporary emancipatory politics. First, Castoriadis’s critical alternative approach to the crisis of Marxism is located within the Marxist theoretical discussions on the issue. Following an outline of Althusser`s attempt to formulate the fundamental causes for what he meant to be an overt eruption of the crisis of Marxism, the essay goes on to present Castoriadis’s critique and investigates the grounds on which it was put forward. The paper concludes with an assessment of the implications of Castoriadis’s arguments for the renewal of radical politics today. (shrink)
This unique anthology brings together readings from the works of the most significant post-Leninist Marxist thinkers. The selections reflect the diversity and high intellectual accomplishment of twentieth-century Marxism and show how these theorists have transformed traditional Marxism's general philosophical orientation, interpretation of historical materialism, models of socialist political practice, and conception of human liberation. The writings reveal the evolution of a sophisticated and democratic Marxism with a theoretical emphasis on class consciousness and subjectivity, a resistance to all (...) forms of domination--including sexism--and a belief in the political power of consciousness-raising. The selections include the work of forerunners Karl Korsch, George Lukacs, and Antonio Gramsci; figures from the 1930s, including Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, and Wilhelm Reich; post-war and New Left thinkers Jean-Paul Sartre, Andre Gorz, Herbert Marcuse, and Jurgen Habermas; and contemporary socialist-feminists Sheila Rowbotham, Juliet Mitchell, Barbara Ehrenreich, Heidi Hartmann, and Ann Ferguson. Gottlieb places the readings in historical and theoretical context, providing a clear and insightful account of the intellectual problems and historical events that gave rise to the Western Marxism, and describing how it both anticipated and influenced contemporary radical movements. Each selection is prefaced by a biographical sketch and the book concludes with a bibliography suggesting further research. (shrink)
Li Da (1890–1966) was one of China’s most important Marxist intellectuals and a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party. He played a major role in the introduction of Marxist philosophy and theory to China and in its dissemination among Chinese revolutionaries. His works are now regarded in China as classics of Marxist philosophy, and he is numbered among the ten most influential Chinese intellectuals of this century. Yet, almost nothing has been written about Li Da in English.In this seminal (...) study, Knight analyzes Li Da’s contribution to the flowering of Marxist philosophy and theory in China, examining Li’s writings and placing them in the context of the Marxist tradition. Knight also explores Li Da’s philosophical relationship with Mao Zedong, who was heavily influenced by Li’s works. Through the lens of Li’s life and thought, this book provides a detailed assessment of the introduction and dissemination of Marxist philosophy and social theory in China. (shrink)
The first of the new Theory and History series, Matt Perry's punchy andaccessible volume examines Marxism's enormous impact on the way historians approach their subject. Perry offers both a concise introduction to the Marxist view of history and Marxism historical writing, and a guide to its relevance to students' own work.
This book represents the culmination of the life's work of one of Italy's foremost Marxist theorists. In it, Ferruccio Rossi-Landi illuminates the complex issues raised by the concept of "ideology." Through his penetrating analysis of the intimate relationship between language, consciousness, and power, his treatise not only offers a valuable review of the history of the notion of ideology and the debate surrounding it, but represents an original and comprehensive revision of the classic Marxist theory of ideology. While retaining the (...) conceptual framework of historical materialism, the author addresses three major developments in post-war human sciences: the recognition of Marxism's shortcomings as a predictive and strictly empirical system of thought, the relativism which has invaded every academic discipline, and the emergence of semiology and linguistics as major fields of enquiry. (shrink)
Argument that Marx has a realist ontology and a correspondence theory of truth. His views are compared to both Hegel's and Kant's. This interpretation departs from more Hegelian, 'idealist' interpretations that often rely on misunderstanding some of the work of the early Marx. There is also a discussion and partial defence of Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-Criticism.
It has become an intellectual commonplace to claim that we have entered the era of 'postmodernity'. Three themes are embraced in this claim the poststructurist critique by Foucault, Derrida and others of the philosophical heritage of the Enlightenment the supposed impasse of High Modern art and its replacement by new artistic forms and the alleged emergence of 'post-industrial' societies whose structures are beyond the ken of Marx and other theorists of industrial capitalism. Against Postmodernism takes issue with all these themes. (...) It challenges the idealist irrationalism of post-structuralism. It questions the existence of any radical break separating allegedly Postmodern from Modern art. And it denies that recent socio-economic developments represent any fundamental shift from classical patterns of capital accumulation. Drawing on philosophy and history, Against Postmodernism takes issue also with some of the most forthright critics of postmodernism -- Jurgen Habermas and Fredric Jameson, for example. But it is most distinctive in that it offers a historical reading of the theories of such currently fashionable thinkers as Baudrillard and Lyotard. Postmodernism, Alex Callinios argues, reflects the disappointed revolutionary generation of '68, and the incorporation of many of its members into the porfessional and managerial 'new middle class'. It is best read as a symptom of political frustration and social mobility rather than as a significant intellectual or cultural phenomenon in its own right. (shrink)
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.
I argued in Karl Marx's Theory of History that the central claims of historical materialism are functional explanations, and I said that functional explanations are consequence explanations, ones, that is, in which something is explained by its propensity to have a certain kind of effect. I also claimed that the theory of chance variation and natural selection sustains functional explanations, and hence consequence explanations, of organismic equipment. In Section I I defend the thesis that historical materialism offers functional or consequence (...) explanations, and I reject Jon Elster's contention that game theory can, and should, assume a central role in the Marxist theory of society. In Section II I contrast functional and consequence explanation, thereby revising the position of Karl Marx's Theory of History, and I question whether evolutionary biology supports functional explanations. Section III is a critique of Elster's views on functional explanation, and Sections IV and V defend consequence explanation against metaphysical and epistemological doubts. A concluding section summarizes my present understanding of the status of historical materialist explanations. (shrink)
The dialectical method, Marx Insisted, was at the basis of his account of society. In 1858, in a letter to Engels, he wrote: In the method of treatment the fact that by mere accident I again glanced through Hegel's Logic has been of great service to me... If there should ever be the time for such work again, I would greatly like to make accessible to the ordinary human intelligence, in two or three printer's sheets, what is rational in the (...) method which Hegel discovered.1 But he never did find the time for this work. As a result, Marx's dialectical method and the ways in which it draws on Hegel's philosophy remain among the most controversial and least well understood aspects of Marx's work. My purpose in this paper is to explain some of the basic presuppositions of this method and to bring out their significance for Marx's theories. I shall do so by focusing critically on G.A. Cohen's account of Marxism in Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence. In this important and influential work, Cohen contrives to give an account of 2 Marxism in entirely non-dialectical – indeed, in anti-dialectical – terms. By criticising Cohen's views I will seek to show that the dialectical method is the necessary basis for an adequate theory of history and an indispensable part of Marx's thought. The major purpose of Cohen's book is to develop and defend a particular interpretation of historical materialism, the Marxist theory of historical development. Cohen claims that his account is an `old-fashioned' and a `traditional' one (p.x); and, indeed, in certain respects it is. For, in contrast to the tendency of much recent Marxist writing, Cohen strongly emphasises the materialistic and deterministic character of Marx's theory of history. He insists that the development of the productive forces is the primary motive force for historical change, and portrays Marxism as a form of technological determinism. However, there are various different forms of materialism, not all of them Marx's.. (shrink)
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 (...) inherits and transforms these ideas; but how precisely he does so has been a topic of much dispute within western Marxism. Marx himself describes his relation to Hegel with the aid of a couple of graphic but vague metaphors. He says that he turns Hegel's dialectic ‘right side up' in order to ‘discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell' (Marx 1961, 20). But how can this be done? Is there a ‘rational kernel' to Hegel's dialectic? If so, how can it be extracted? (shrink)
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.
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 Europe had nothing to do with true socialism. Their demise, therefore, has no bearing on Marxism: no rethinking is required. (shrink)
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.
Trotsky’s contribution to historical materialism has been subject to two broadly defined critical assessments. Detractors have tended to dismiss his interpretation of Marxism as a form of productive force determinism, while admirers have tended to defend his Marxism as a voluntarist negation of the same. In this essay I argue that both of these opinions share an equally caricatured interpretation of Second International Marxism against which Trotsky is compared. By contrast, I argue that Trotsky’s Marxism can (...) best be understood as a powerful application and deepening of the strongest elements of Second International methodology to a novel set of problems. Thus, against Trotsky’s admirers, I locate his Marxism as both emerging out of, in addition to breaking with, Second International Marxism; while, against his critics, I argue that it was precisely the strengths of this earlier interpretation of Marxism that informed Trotsky’s powerful contributions to historical materialism: his concept of combined and uneven development and his discussion of the role of individual agents within the Marxist interpretation of history. (shrink)
Originally delivered at a conference of Marxist philosophers in China, this article examines some links, and some tensions, between business ethics and the traditional concerns of Marxism. After discussing the emergence of business ethics as an academic discipline, it explores and attempts to answer two Marxist objections that might be brought against the enterprise of business ethics. The first is that business ethics is impossible because capitalism itself tends to produce greedy, overreaching, and unethical business behavior. The second is (...) that business ethics is irrelevant because focusing on the moral or immoral conduct of individual firms or businesspeople distracts one’s attention from the systemic vices of capitalism. I argue, to the contrary, that, far from being impossible, business requires and indeed presupposes ethics and that for those who share Marx’s hope for a better society, nothing could be more relevant than engaging the debate over corporate social responsibility. In line with this, the article concludes by sketching some considerations favoring corporations’ adopting a broader view of their social and moral responsibilities, one that encompasses more than the pursuit of profit. (shrink)
Andrew Levine analyses the theoretical legacy of recent Marxist schools, focusing in particular on analytical Marxism (AM). He argues that AM is uniquely suited to provide the foundations for a revival of Marxist theory. In this paper, Levine's reconstruction of the core of Marxism and his analysis of the trajectory of AM are critically discussed. Although the theoretical contribution of AM should not be overlooked, some objectionable methodological and theoretical tenets of AM, and in particular of Rational Choice (...)Marxism, are discussed, which may help to explain the demise of the school. Various directions for further research are suggested, which emphasise the importance of structural constraints and endogenous preferences. Key Words: analytical Marxism methodological individualism rational choice theory endogenous preferences structural constraints. (shrink)
Alasdair MacIntyre, a leading moral philosopher in the English speaking world, was from his earliest intellectual formation influenced profoundly both by Christianity and Marxism. MacIntyre argues that Marxism has religious roots, in that it gains its vision of the good life of peace and reconciliation from Christianity, mediated by Hegel, but makes this life historically concrete. The article views MacIntyre's early intellectual career as a case study in the productive tension generated by an analysis of the connections between (...) Christianity and Marxism. It is suggested that by examining the similarities and differences of these two traditions, MacIntyre points to the sources of radicalism that lie at the apparently conservative heart of western culture and reveals aspects of the continuing significance of this culture's religious background. He also points to the difficulties both traditions have in engaging with modern liberal culture. (shrink)
Many believe that the Marxist philosophy of history entails that man is not free in a sense in which it seems obvious that he is. In particular it is held to be (1) materialistic, (2) holistic, (3) economistic, and (4) fatalistic. It is claimed, in short, that since the Marxist philosophy of history has these features, man is not capable of shaping his own (social) destiny if it is true. I show for each of these features either that it does (...) not entail what it is believed to entail or that it is not correctly attributed to the Marxist philosophy of history. (shrink)
The well-known paradox between Marxism and morality is that on the one hand, Marx claims that morality is a form of ideology that should be abandoned, while on the other hand, Marx makes quite a few moral judgments in his writings. It is in the research after Marx’s death that the paradox is found, explored and solved. This paper surveys the history of interpreting Marx from the aspect of moral philosophy by dividing it into three sequential phases. Then it (...) presents the research on Marx in each phase, points out conflicting questions within the different periods and puts forward the solution in the end. This paper points out that a philosophical viewpoint based on Marx’s theory of historical materialism is the key to solving the paradox between Marxism and morality. (shrink)
This paper contains a philosophical explication of some of the essentials of a Marxist approach to business ethics. A Marxist approach is construed as a moral critique of capitalism. This paper hopes to lay the groundwork for a more detailed analysis of Karl Marx's critique of capitalist economies.
Marxism has long been subject to criticism from the theorists of Political Ecology, and in recent years, as the concerns of Green thinkers have become harder to ignore, Marxists have begun to respond to this challenge, defending and sometimes amending Marxist theory in response to Green criticisms. This paper addresses one issue within this debate: the controversy over Marx’s commitment to the growth, or development, of the productive forces. My aim is to dispute the contention of Marx’s Green critics, (...) that his concept of the development of the productive forces leads inevitably to the exacerbation of ecological problems, and, more speculatively, to suggest some advantages of using this concept to investigate ecological problems. (shrink)
If Marx is to survive as a source of unparalleled insight into the modern world, he needs to be recovered. This article will begin to address some of the difficulties which arise in recovering Marx, above all the need to free Marx from Marxism. Marx has always been studied through Marxism, hence in a way which profoundly distorts his philosophical ideas. If we remove this Marxist 'filter', we see a rather different, more philosophical, and more philosophically-interesting thinker, Hegel's (...) most important student, a full member of German idealism, who comes closer than anyone else to grasping the nature of the modern industrial world. Key Words: capitalism Engels Hegel Lukács Marx Marxism. (shrink)
The debates of the 1980s and 1990s on methodological individualism versus methodological holism have not been adequately resolved. Within analytical Marxism, G.A. Cohen, John Roemer, Jon Elster and others have come down in favour of methodological individualism as part of the effort to make analytical Marxism more 'scientific' and 'rigorous' than earlier versions of Marxism. In doing so they have presented methodological individualism as a necessary ingredient in ridding Marxism of obscurantism. This view is here challenged (...) from a pragmatist philosophical perspective. It is argued that, from such a perspective, the debates between the individualists and holists should have been dissolved rather than resolved in favour of the individualists. It is suggested that such dissolution would even strengthen analytical Marxism by redirecting analytical energies towards real social and political problems in the contemporary world and away from endless methodological debate. (shrink)
The specific nuances of what Gramsci names 'the new dialectic' are explored in this paper. The dialectic was Marx's specific 'mode of thought' or 'method of logic' as it has been variously called, by which he analyzed the world and man's relationship to that world. As well as constituting a theory of knowledge (epistemology), what arises out of the dialectic is also an ontology or portrait of humankind that is based on the complete historicization of humanity; its 'absolute "historicism"' or (...) 'the absolute secularisation and earthliness of thought', as Gramsci worded it ( Gramsci, 1971 , p. 465). Embracing a fully secular and historical view of humanity, it provides a vantage point that allows the multiple and complex effects of our own conceptual heritage to be interrogated in relation to our developing 'nature' or 'being'. The argument presented in this paper is that the legacy of both Hegel and Marx is manifest in the depth of Gramsci's comprehension of what he termed the 'educative-formative' problem of hegemony. It is precisely the legacy of this Hegelian-Marxist radical philosophical critique that is signified in his continuing commitment to the 'philosophy of praxis' and the historical-dialectical principles that underpin this worldview. (shrink)
The dissolution of the Soviet Union has initiated important questions concerning the nature and future of Marxism. This essay will examine the future of Marxism in relation to global values, specifically in relation to what is termed “Western” Marxism (non-Soviet or non-Orthodox Marxism).
My response to Wartofsky's questions concerning why the Aristotelian tradition of the virtues was rejected and why individualist modes of thought found such ready acceptance is to sketch the kind of historical narrative which I take it must be written if his questions are to be adequately answered. I identify one source of difference between us in the varying extent to which he and I have rejected Marxist modes of thought.
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 be used to resolve some of the major issues in Marxist philosophy and to illuminate some of the central topics in Marxist social, political and economic thought. (shrink)
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 Party. This was an orthodox party aligned with the Soviet Union in its political and theoretical standpoint.4 It was never a large political party, unlike those in some other European countries such as Italy or France, and had only a limited impact on British intellectual life. (shrink)
Materialism is the view that existence does not necessarily involve perceiving or being perceived, knowing or being known. Dialectics is the view that the universe is a system of entities in process of change, the dynamic arising from the impact of the parts on one another. The epistemology of Dialectical Materialism (Marxism) is therefore the view that truth (i.e. the correspondence of a sentence with fact) can be determined by the following rule: "Examine any alleged state of affairs as (...) related to and distinguished from a total environment, and you will know whether or not the sentence alleging that state of affairs is true." No special pedagogy is required for Marxist epistemology: the only rule is the usual rule of honesty and candor which bids us teach every subject as that subject actually is. (shrink)
Just as the two sides in the Cold War agreed that Western Capitalism and Soviet Communism were "the" two alternatives, so the two sides in the intellectual Great Debate agreed on a common framing of questions with the defenders of capitalism taking one side and Marxists taking the other side of the questions. From the viewpoint of economic democracy (e.g., a labor-managed market economy), this late Great Debate between capitalism and socialism was as misframed as would be an antebellum 'Great (...) Debate' between the private or public ownership of slaves. Even though the Great Debate between capitalism and socialism is now in the dustbin of intellectual history, Marxism still plays an important role in sustaining the misframing of the questions so that the defenders of the present employment system do not have to face the real questions that separate that system from a system of economic democracy. In that sense, Marxism has become the ultimate capitalist tool. (shrink)
The paper offers a neo-Marxist framework of interculturalisation to accommodate the increasing cultural diversity in the internationalisation of higher education with specific reference to Chinese students in New Zealand. At present, there are few official strategies in place to provide for the needs of international students in New Zealand universities. Tolerance is often promoted to cope with differences in general, but this notion is not sufficient to embrace and encourage cultural diversity in higher education. The paper reviews neoliberal and neo-Marxist (...) perspectives of interculturalism/interculturalisation. In order to move beyond mere tolerance of cultural diversity, which is seen as a problem to be overcome, the paper concludes that a national and institutional policy for internationalisation in higher education should be underpinned by neo-Marxist principles of interculturalism. (shrink)
This article reflects on the difficultrelationship between Gender Studies and socalled `Culturology' in post-Soviet academia.Both approaches deal with culture but the modesof analysis differ significantly. The articleargues that Western feminism and Gender Studiesas its academic output challenged the methodsand paradigm of cultural analysis inpost-Soviet academia which was and still isimplicitly based on Marxist-Leninist premisesof social research. The article then goes on toanalyse why Gender Studies as well as Feminismare often perceived as `imported products' forwhich reason their reception in post-Soviethumanities is (...) rather problematic. Brieflyspeaking, the intellectual potential andmethodological grounds of Gender Studiesremain questionable for scholars in post-Sovietuniversities. (shrink)
For Weberian Marxists, the social theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx are complementary contributions to the analysis of modern capitalist society. Combining Weber's theory of rationalization with Marx's critique of commodity fetishism to develop his own critique of reification, Georg Lukacs contended that the combination of Marx's and Weber's social theories is essential to envisioning socially transformative modes of praxis in advanced capitalist society. By comparing Lukacs's theory of reification with Habermas's theory of communicative action as two theories in (...) the tradition of Weberian Marxism, I show how the prevailing mode of "doing theory" has shifted from Marx's critique of economic determinism to Weber's idea of the inner logic of social value spheres. Today, Weberian Marxism can make an important contribution to theoretical sociology by reconstituting itself as a framework for critically examining prevailing societal definitions of the rationalization imperatives specific to purposive-rational social value spheres (the economy, the administrative state, etc.). In a second step, Weberian Marxists would explore how these value spheres relate to each other and to value spheres that are open to the type of communicative rationalization characteristic of the lifeworld level of social organization. (shrink)
As we tend to forget the distinction between polemic and critique, readers of Castoriadis are often unaware of his frequent returns to a reading of Marx. In looking at the essays collected in the six volumes of Crossroads in the Labyrinth, it is useful to distinguish between, on the one hand, the political polemics launched against the failure of a Marxist Left, and on the other, the critiques of a Marx who is seeking to understand the sociohistorical meanings underlying a (...) rationality that is new only in appearance, thereby reviving traditional philosophical interrogation. Today, as Marxism has become merely a philosophy while, as a political movement it has lost its anchor, it is worth coming back to the meeting point between Marx and Castoriadis. This can also serve to revive our appreciation of the project of philosophy in general. (shrink)
In their work The German Ideology, the founders of Marxism assert that the prerequisite of post-capitalist (defined by them as communist) society is the universal development of human abilities and all social relations. But then on the same page, contrary to this statement, it is alleged that the abolition of private property is not only highly topical but it is also an imperative history-making task. In Manifesto of the Communist Party, Marx and Engels explain that economic crises recurrently shaking (...) capitalist society expose an apparent contradiction between the productive forces and the capitalist relations of production – therefore, these relations must be eliminated for the preservation of society. Nonetheless, the same treatise affirms that the bourgeoisie cannot exist without revolutionizing not only the productive forces but also the relations of production. But in this case it stands to reason to recognize that there is no conflict between productive forces and production relations, and, therefore, there is no crisis of the capitalist system, either. Paradoxes in the communist theory of Marxism stem not merely from erroneous conceptions but reveal the fact that Marxism as an ideology comes into conflict with its scientific social theory. Hence, these paradoxes disclose the relative independence of the social theory of Marxism from its ideological postulates. (shrink)
Globalization was just emerging but did not really take shape during Karl Marxâs time. In fact, both Karl Marx and Engels predicted the trend of globalization but did not really live in such a time. Therefore, globalization is still a new issue and a new research area for Marxist philosophy today. Based on the distinctions between some important concepts such as globalization and modernization, this paper probes the problems concerning the development of modernity theory, social morphology and civilization theory, and (...) the Marxist theory of values raised in the process of globalization. The paper also explores some theoretical issues concerning the socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics in the Marxist philosophy, and contemplates possible research areas, angles and methods of Marxist philosophical research in the global era. (shrink)
Kolman''s philosophy has been, throughout the major part of his life, distinctly Stalinist. After he had been released from prison and after the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the U.S.S.R. (1956), he became critical of Stalinist dogmatism in philosophy and politics. Although his philosophic thought underwent some — if only minor — changes, Kolman remained entirely within the framework of Marxist philosophy, retaining its foundations, as contained in the writings of the classics of Marxism — Marx, Engels (...) and Lenin. (shrink)
This paper explores a contrast between the Marxist and feminist traditions of emancipatory social theory: whereas in the Marxist tradition theorists have spent considerable time and energy discussing the problem of the viability of classlessness as an emancipatory project, feminists have spent relatively little time defending the viability of a society without male domination. The paper argues that this difference in preoccupations reflects, at least to some extent, differences in the relationship between prefigurative egalitarian micro experiences and macro institutional change (...) with respect to gender oppression and class oppression. The paper also explores the implications of this contrast for the kinds of explanatory theory developed within the two traditions. Marxists' greater tendency than feminists to seek relatively deterministic accounts of the demise of the form of oppression on which they focus is viewed as at least partially a way of contending with the difficulty in establishing the viability of the emancipatory project of classlessness. (shrink)
Three distinct turning points (“bottleneck breakings”) in universal evolution are discussed at some length in terms of “self-reference” and (corresponding) “Reality Principles.” The first (origin and evolution of animate Nature) and second (human consciousness) are shown to necessarily precede a third one, that of Marxist philosophy. It is pointed out that while the previous two could occupy a natural (so in a sense neutral) place as parts of human science, the self-reference of Marxism, as a _social_ human phenomenon, through (...) its direct bearings on the _practice_ of society, did have a stormy history. I conclude that the fall of Bolshevism was unavoidable, and still, we might uphold our hope for a truly free society of humankind, just on the very basis of what we have learned of the fate of Marxist philosophy as such, as a _recursively evolving_ social _practice_: the freedom of humankind of its own ideological burdens (constraints). (shrink)
Modern socialist economic reforms which center on the establishment of a commodity based economic system, demand a reconsideration of human nature. Marxism and human sociobiology give different answers to questions about human nature, but neither is complete in itself. It seems timely, therefore, to suggest that a combination of biological understanding with a Marxist-based social understanding would produce a more adequate notion of human nature, thereby helping us to resolve a number of problems posed by reforms currently taking place (...) in socialist countries. We might also hope to face new challenges posed in the future. (shrink)
Christians and Marxists have co-operated in various forms of political work in recent decades, and, after earlier years of antagonism, thinkers on both sides have come to take the other seriously. The aim of this book is to get Christianity and Marxism to meet on terrain on which they might seem most opposed: their philosophical positions; and to do so without watering either down, but taking then full strength.
At the present time, Europe, particularly eastern Europe, is still immersed in a major political transformation, the most significant such change since the Second World War, arising out of the rejection of official Marxism. This unforeseen rejection requires meditation by all those concerned with the relation of philosophy to the historical context. Marxism, that follows Marx’s insistence on the link between a theory and the context in which it arises, cannot be indifferent to the rejection of Marxist theory (...) in practice. In respect to the usual tendency to pass rapidly over practice for a theoretical analysis of social theory, Merleau-Ponty stands out for his concern to evaluate the theoretical claims of Marx and Marxism against practice. (shrink)
I explain how a Marxist would understand and respond to the phenomenon of business ethics. In Section I, I maintain that a Marxist would supplement traditional explanations of the increased interest in business ethics by an emphasis on class needs created by a situation of declining profits. I argue, in Section II, that business ethics might be used to address two needs created by this situation: (1) to legitimate the system of capitalist production: and (2) to discipline individual members of (...) the bourgeoisie so that they will refrain from pursuing their individual interests when these conflict with the interests of their class. In Section III, I argue that there is no guarantee that business ethics will develop to meet these class needs, and that the questions to which an interest in business ethics gives rise may themselves lead to serious and effective criticism of business. (shrink)
In this paper, the author maps three radically different visions of Marxism in educational philosophy. Each ‘register’ contains insights but also contradictions that cannot easily be resolved through internal modifications of the theory or through theoretical synthesis with other registers. The radical function of Marxist pedagogy is to create a constellation of Marxisms through which the outline of history can emerge. As such, the author ends with a new emphasis in Marxist education on the ‘exacting imagination’ of the teacher (...) which creates a constellational image of concepts and theories all of which hang in a precarious and historically specific configuration. (shrink)
Marxist roots of science studies Content Type Journal Article Category Essay Review Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9647-4 Authors Nils Roll-Hansen, Institute of Philosophy, University of Oslo, PB 1024 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
The impact of social factors upon the philosophical investigations in a broad sense is quite evident. Nevertheless their impact upon epistemology as a branch of philosophy, logic, and history of science as fields of research with noticeable philosophical content is not evident enough. We are keen to claim that this impact exists within some limits, although it is not so overtly evident. Moreover in the case of Marxism it is of a paradoxical nature. Marxism always puts the accent (...) on the role of social and economic factors in the development, development of science included. To a large extent due to Marxism, externalism emerged; the key idea of externalism may be expressed through the statement that social and economic reasons are the main sources of development of science. B.M. Hessen declared and did his best in 1931 to justify this statement through the example of the emergence of classical mechanics. Meanwhile the social milieu of Marxist countries placed a taboo on the externalist approach towards epistemology, the interpretation of logic, and history of science. All these fields of knowledge were evolved in the Marxist era in the USSR and Eastern Europe - despite the spirit of Marxism - within strict internalist boarders. We offer the explanation of this contradiction. (shrink)