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Making Sense of Marx : Studies in Marxism and Social Theory - Jon Elster

Making Sense of Marx

Studies in Marxism and Social Theory

Paperback Published: 8th July 1985
ISBN: 9780521297059
Number Of Pages: 576

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A systematic, critical examination of Karl Marx's social theories and their philosophical presuppositions. Through extensive discussions of the texts Jon Elster offers a balanced and detailed account of Marx's views that is at once sympathetic, undogmatic and rigorous. Equally importantly he tries to assess 'what is living and what is dead in the philosophy of Marx', using the analytical resources of contemporary social science and philosophy. Professor Elster insists on the need for microfoundations in social science and provides a systematic criticism of functionalism and teleological thinking in Marx. He argues that Marx's economic theories are largely wrong or irrelevant; historical materialism is seen to have only limited plausibility (and is not even consistently applied by Marx); Marx's most lasting achievements are the criticism of capitalism in terms of alienation and exploitation and the theory of class struggle, politics and ideology under capitalism, though in these areas too Elster enters substantial qualifications. The book should take its place as the most comprehensive and sophisticated modern study available.

'Making Sense of Marx is splendid; it is endlessly ingenious, inventive and imaginative; it is built on apparently inexhaustible reserves of textual scholarship; it is written in sober, lucid and careful prose; and it tackles issues whose intrinsic interest is undeniable. Making Sense of Marx is a monument to patience, open-mindedness, intellectual scrupulousness and straightforward intelligence.' Alan Ryan, The Times Literary Supplement

Detailed table of contentsp. xi
Preface and acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Explanation and dialecticsp. 3
Philosophy and economicsp. 49
Philosophical anthropologyp. 53
Economicsp. 119
Exploitation, freedom and justicep. 166
Theory of historyp. 235
Modes of productionp. 241
Classesp. 318
Politics and the statep. 398
Ideologiesp. 459
Conclusionp. 511
Capitalism, communism and revolutionp. 513
Referencesp. 533
Index of namesp. 549
Index of subjectsp. 552
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521297059
ISBN-10: 0521297052
Series: Studies in Marxism and Social Theory
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 576
Published: 8th July 1985
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.86