Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defense

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First published in 1978, this book rapidly established itself as a classic of modern Marxism. Cohen's masterful application of advanced philosophical techniques in an uncompromising defense of historical materialism commanded widespread admiration. In the ensuing twenty years, the book has served as a flagship of a powerful intellectual movement--analytical Marxism. In this expanded edition, Cohen offers his own account of the history, and the further promise, of analytical Marxism. He also expresses reservations...

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Overview

First published in 1978, this book rapidly established itself as a classic of modern Marxism. Cohen's masterful application of advanced philosophical techniques in an uncompromising defense of historical materialism commanded widespread admiration. In the ensuing twenty years, the book has served as a flagship of a powerful intellectual movement--analytical Marxism. In this expanded edition, Cohen offers his own account of the history, and the further promise, of analytical Marxism. He also expresses reservations about traditional historical materialism, in the light of which he reconstructs the theory, and he studies the implications for historical materialism of the demise of the Soviet Union.

This book deals with the philisophical and historical ramifications of aspects of economic and social history which Marx claimed were inevitable.

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Editorial Reviews

Anthony Quinton
A clear, definite, and well-reasoned interpretation of what the theory really is. . . . Admirably argued and generally exhilarating.
The Times Literary Supplement
Peter Singer
Cohen's blend of sound scholarship and acute philosophical reasoning has produced a work with which anyone seriously interested in understanding Marx must come to terms.
New York Review of Books
William H. Shaw
[Karl Marx's Theory of History] is an ambitious and impressive work....Cohen writes with limpidity, verve, and honesty.
American Historical Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199242061
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 470
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Note on References and Acknowledgements
Introduction to the 2000 Edition: Reflections on Analytical Marxism
I Images of History in Hegel and Marx 1
II The Constitution of the Productive Forces 28
III The Economic Structure 63
IV Material and Social Properties of Society 88
V Fetishism 115
VI The Primacy of the Productive Forces 134
VII The Productive Forces and Capitalism 175
VIII Base and Superstructure, Powers and Rights 216
IX Functional Explanation: In General 249
X Functional Explanation: In Marxism 278
XI Use-Value, Exchange-Value, and Contemporary Capitalism 297
XII Fettering 326
XIII Reconsidering Historical Materialism 341
XIV Restricted and Inclusive Historical Materialism 364
XV Marxism after the Collapse of the Soviet Union 389
App. I Karl Marx and the Withering Away of Social Science 396
App. II Some Definitions 415
List of Works Cited 425
Name Index 433
Subject Index 437
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