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34. Marx


Subject Philosophy

People Marx, Karl

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631219088.2002.00039.x


For a period of about twenty years after the 1939–45 war, Marx's ideas were given little serious academic attention. There were exceptions, such as Popper's influential book The Open Society and its Enemies (1945) , but on the whole Marx was ignored by philosophy as he was by other intellectual disciplines. Since then, there has been a veritable explosion of serious interest in him, beginning in the late 1960s with the period of political radicalism in the universities of Western Europe and North America. A huge amount has been written on all aspects of his thought-far more than I can do justice to in this chapter. I shall concentrate on just two themes which have been prominent in recent philosophical discussions of Marx: his theory of H istory (chapter 14) and his view of E thics (chapter 6) . The revival of serious interest in Marx's philosophy initially took a form which threw new light on his ethics. This was the discovery of his early writings, unpublished in his lifetime and for many years thereafter. In particular his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts , written in 1844, first published in 1932 and first translated into English in 1959, reveal a whole new dimension of his thought. A key concept here is that of ‘alienation’, a term which Marx took over from H egel (chapter 33) and used to describe the relation of workers to their product and to their productive ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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