Marx's Moral Skepticism

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (Marx and Morality):45-66 (1981)
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This paper considers the theoretical and methodological origins of Marx's beliefs and attitudes towards classical moral theories and then their implications for two basic questions: (1) In what way, if any, was Marx suspicious and dismissive of classical moral theories (e.g., utilitarianism or Kantianism), and (2) what sort of moral theory can a proponent of Marx's moral views support? Here it is argued that there is a clear sense in which Marx would not have been automatically suspicious of moral ideas, conceptions, discourse and the rest. But there is an equally clear sense in which he was. It is in the latter respect that Marx’s views must be explicated in terms of his theory of historical development, and it is only here that the full richness and impact of Marx’s views on moral philosophy can be understood and appreciated.



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George E. Panichas
Lafayette College

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References found in this work

Marxism and retribution.Jeffrie G. Murphy - 1973 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (3):217-243.
The Structure of Marx's World View.John Mcmurtry - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (3):481-483.
The Ethical Foundations of Marxism.Eugene Kamenka - 1962 - Studies in Soviet Thought 3 (1):81-82.
Ethical relativity: Sic et non.Clyde Kluckhohn - 1955 - Journal of Philosophy 52 (23):663-677.

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