Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist

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Cornell University Press, 1997 - Philosophy - 257 pages
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Of great relevance to contemporary debates about socialism and democracy, Young Sidney Hook reopens the controversial question of the relationship between Marxism and pragmatism. In the first biography of philosopher Sidney Hook to be published since his death in 1989, Christopher Phelps vividly describes the neglected early thought and political history of this important New York intellectual, pragmatist philosopher, and anti-Stalinist polemicist. Throughout the Cold War decades, Hook was a notoriously strident anti-communist. But in his earlier life, he had a very different career as a talented radical philosopher and Marxist scholar who argued for replacing capitalism with a more democratic society. Challenging scholars on both the left (who see Hook's early beliefs as ill-conceived) and the right (who see them as immature), Phelps explores the contributions young Hook made to social theory, ethics, politics, epistemology, and discussions of scientific method.

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Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and pragmatist

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Sidney Hook came to believe that socialism as an economic system had failed in our time because it had neither solved the problem of incentive nor found a substitute for the free market to give people ... Read full review


Introduction I
Revolution and Philosophy 190230
Communism and Pragmatism 193033
Marxism Democracy Science 193336
Twilight of Revolution 193638
The Constraints of Cultural Freedom 193873
The Marxism of Sidney Hook
Appendix on Sources

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Page 188 - A means can be justified only by its end. But the end in its turn needs to be justified. From the Marxist point of view, which expresses the historical interests of the proletariat, the end is justified if it leads to increasing the power of man over nature and to the abolition of the power of man over man.

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About the author (1997)

Christopher Phelps is associate professor of American history at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist (1997) and articles in the Journal of American History, The Nation, The Financial Times and other periodicals. He has received several awards for his historical and political writing.

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