Dialectical Social Theory and Its Critics: From Hegel to Analytical Marxism and Postmodernism

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SUNY Press, 1993 - Philosophy - 173 pages
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That there is a "Hegelian legacy" in Marx's writings is not in dispute. There is great controversy, however, over the extent to which this legacy should be affirmed or rejected. In fact, the Hegelian orientation toward Marx and toward social theory in general has been largely rejected for at least a decade. In Dialectical Social Theory and Its Critics, Tony Smith challenges this position and thereby reopens a debate of critical importance to Marx-Hegel studies that has significant implications for the nature of social theory in general.
In Part I, Smith explores a number of aspects of the Hegelian legacy by means of a systematic dialectical reading, limiting himself to themes that have either been overlooked or dealt with unsatisfactorily in recent scholarship. In Part II, he examines a number of recent arguments against the Hegelian legacy in Marxism formulated from the neo-Kantian, analytical-Marxist, and postmodernist perspectives advanced by Lucio Colletti, Jon Elster and John Roemer, and Jean Baudrillard, respectively.
Dialectical Social Theory and Its Critics is more than an exercise in the history of ideas. Its main aim and most significant accomplishment is to establish that dialectical social theory retains practical importance today and is, in fact, crucial to interdisciplinary attempts to construct a viable theory of the social world.
 

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Contents

Hegels Theory of the Syllogism and Its Relevance for Marxism
7
The Systematic Place of Hegels Theory of the Syllogism
11
Theoretical Importance of Hegels Theory of the Syllogism for Marxists
13
Practical Importance of Hegels Theory of the Syllogism for Marxists
17
The Dialectic of Alienation Hegels Theory of Greek Religion and Marxs Critique of Capital
23
From Epic to Tragedy
24
The Dialectic of Capital and the Dialectic of Tragedy
26
Comedy and the Labor Theory of Value
30
Hegelianism and Marx A Reply to Lucio Colletti
67
Colletti on Hegel Kant and Marxs Epigone
68
Hegel and the Hegelianism of Marx
72
Elsters Critique of Marxs Systematic Dialectical Theory
91
Elsters Critique of Deductive Dialectical Theory
94
Replies to Elsters Criticisms
96
Concluding Remarks
108
Roemer on Marxs Theory of Exploitation Shortcomings of a NonDialectical Approach
111

Hegel on Greek Democracy
31
The Debate Regarding Dialectical Logic in Marxs Economic Writings
35
Four Readings of Dialectics in Marxs Economic Theory
36
Arguments in Favor of the Systematic Thesis
40
A Closing Conjecture
46
Hegel and Marx on Civil Society
49
A Convergence?
50
The Divergence
52
CONTEMPORARY CRITICISMS OF DIALECTICAL SOCIAL THEORY
65
An Outline of Marxs System
115
Replies to Roemers Objections
117
The Critique of Marxism in Baudrillards Late Writings
123
Baudrillards Case Against Marxism
124
Evaluation of Baudrillards Arguments
128
Notes
139
Selected Bibliography
163
Index
171
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About the author (1993)

Tony Smith is Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at Iowa State University of Science and Technology. He is the author of The Logic of Marx's Capital, and The Role of Ethics in Social Theory, also published by SUNY Press.

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