Reconstructing Marxism: Essays on Explanation and the Theory of History
Reconstructing Marxism explores fundamental questions about the structure of Marxist theory and its prospects for the future. The authors maintain that the disintegration of the old theoretical unity of classical Marxism is in part responsible for what is commonly called the "crisis of Marxism." Only a reconstructed Marxism can come to terms with this disintegration.
Addressing a range of problems in historical materialism and class analysis, the authors compare historical materialism with Darwinian evolutionary theory, and identify what is distinctively "historical" in Marx's theory of history. Through an evaluation of G.A. Cohen's defense and Anthony Giddens's critique of historical materialism they suggest what a plausible, yet still Marxist. theory of history might be. They analyze the relationship of microanalysis to macro theory and the assignment of causal primacy in explanations, and present a general assessment of the current state of Marxist theory and the prospects for its analytical reconstruction.
Distinguished by the clarity of its presentation, the analytical rigour of its argument and its concern with fundamental philosophical and sociological issues, Reconstructing Marxism advances, at this critical juncture in the history of Marxism, a challenging new research programme.
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actors analytical Marxism argue argument authoritative resources cancer capitalism capitalist causal potency causal primacy causal processes Chapter class analysis class relations class structure Cohen concepts contradiction Critique debates development of productive dispositional fact distinct economic structures effects Elliott Sober Elster endogenous epochal historical evolutionary theory example existing exogenous explananda explanatory fettering feudalism forces and relations forces of production functional explanation G.A. Cohen gender Giddens Giddens's historical materialism historical materialist historical trajectories holism human interests Jon Elster KMTH labor level of development limits Marx Marx's theory Marxian Marxism as class Marxist theory Marxist tradition mechanisms methodological individualism micro-foundations mode of production organism outcome particular Philippe Van Parijs philosophy plutonium political Primacy Thesis production relations productive forces properties radical rational reconstruction reductionism relations of production revolution rituals scientific sense social relations social science socialist societies space-time distanciation specific superstructure tendency theoretical theory of history transformation University Press
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