Gale Research Philosophy Series 1 and 2 (Internet Library Reference Database) ( (2017)

Michael Baur
Fordham University
Marx’s theory of historical materialism seeks to explain human history and development on the basis of the material conditions underlying all human existence. For Marx, the most important of all human activities is the activity of production by means of labor. With his focus on production through labor, Marx argues that it is possible to provide a materialistic explanation of how human beings not only transform the world (by applying the “forces of production” to it) but also transform themselves in transforming the world (by entering into “relations of production” with one another). For Marx, the productive labor of human beings – and the resulting interplay between the forces and relations of production – function together as the engine which drives all historical change and development. By understanding how the productive activities of human beings give rise to the division of labor and class conflict, it becomes possible, according to Marx, to understand how different historical epochs succeed one another, and how the trajectory of human history points towards a communist society within which the division of labor and class conflict will be abolished.
Keywords Marxism  Historical Materialism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Critical Notice, G. A. Cohen, Marx's Theory of History. [REVIEW]Henry Laycock - 1980 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):335-356.
Is It Immaterial That There's a 'Material' in 'Historical Materialism'?Charles W. Mills - 1989 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):323 – 342.
Historical Materialism and Supervenience.Colin Farrelly - 2005 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (4):420-446.
Materialism and History.Michael Alexander Kramer - 1994 - Dissertation, Columbia University
Marxism After the Collapse of the Soviet Union.G. A. Cohen - 1999 - The Journal of Ethics 3 (2):99-104.


Added to PP index

Total views
275 ( #36,217 of 2,462,556 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
110 ( #5,848 of 2,462,556 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes