Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence / Edition 1

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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

New York Review of Books - 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.
The Times Literary Supplement - Anthony Quinton
A clear, definite, and well-reasoned interpretation of what the theory really is. . . . Admirably argued and generally exhilarating.
American Historical Review - William H. Shaw
[Karl Marx's Theory of History] is an ambitious and impressive work. . . . Cohen writes with limpidity, verve, and honesty.
From the Publisher

Winner of the Isaac Deutscher Memorial Prize

"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."--Peter Singer, New York Review of Books

"A clear, definite, and well-reasoned interpretation of what the theory really is. . . . Admirably argued and generally exhilarating."--Anthony Quinton, The Times Literary Supplement

"[Karl Marx's Theory of History] is an ambitious and impressive work. . . . Cohen writes with limpidity, verve, and honesty."--William H. Shaw, American Historical Review

New York Review of Books
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.
— Peter Singer
American Historical Review
[Karl Marx's Theory of History] is an ambitious and impressive work. . . . Cohen writes with limpidity, verve, and honesty.
— William H. Shaw
The Times Literary Supplement
A clear, definite, and well-reasoned interpretation of what the theory really is. . . . Admirably argued and generally exhilarating.
— Anthony Quinton
American Historical Review
[Karl Marx's Theory of History] is an ambitious and impressive work. . . . Cohen writes with limpidity, verve, and honesty.
— William H. Shaw
Anthony Quinton
A clear, definite, and well-reasoned interpretation of what the theory really is. . . . Admirably argued and generally exhilarating.
The Times Literary Supplement
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
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
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691070681
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/5/2001
  • Edition description: Expanded
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 430
  • Sales rank: 1,065,579
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Table of Contents


NOTE ON REFERENCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS xvi
INTRODUCTION TO THE 2000 EDITION: REFLECTIONS ON ANALYTICAL MARXISM xvii
I. IMAGES OF HISTORY IN HEGEL AND MARX 1
II. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PRODUCTIVE FORCES 28
(1) Economic Structure and Productive Forces 28
(2) Some Terminological Points 37
(3) Labour Power 40
(4) Science 45
(5) More Candidates for the Catalogue 47
(6) The Development of the Productive Forces 55
III. THE ECONOMIC STRUCTURE 63
(1) Ownership Rights in Productive Forces 63
(2) Possible and Impossible Ownership Positions of Producers 66
(3) Subordination 69
(4) Redefining the Proletarian 70
(5) The Structural Definition of Class 73
(6) The Individuation of Social Forms 77
(7) Modes of Production 79
(8) Varieties of Economic Change 85
IV. MATERIAL AND SOCIAL PROPERTIES OF SOCIETY 88
(1) Introducing the Distinction 88
(2) Matter and Form in the Labour Process 98
(3) Use-value and Political Economy 103
(4) Revolutionary Value of the Distinction toy
(5) Against Marx on Mill 108
(6) Work Relations III
V. FETISHISM 115
(i) Fetishism in Religion and in Economics 115
(2) What is True and What is False in Fetishism 116
(3) Diagnosis of Commodity Fetishism 119
(4) Diagnosis of Capital Fetishism 122
(5) Commodity Fetishism and Money 124
(6) Commodity Fetishism, Religion, and Politics 125 (7) Communism as the Liberation of the Content 129
VI. THE PRIMACY OF THE PRODUCTIVE FORCES 134
(1) Introduction 134
(2) Assertions of Primacy by Marx: The Preface 136
(3) Assertions of Primacy by Marx: Outside the Preface 142
(4) The Case for Primacy 150
(5) The Nature of the Primacy of the Forces 16o
(6) Productive Forces, Material Relations, Social Relations 166
(7) 'All earlier modes of production were essentially conservative' 169
(8) Addmdwn 172
VII. THE PRODUCTIVE FORCES AND CAPITALISM 175
(1) The Emergence of Capitalism 175
(2) The Capitalist Economic Structure and the Capitalist Mode of Production 180
(3) Capitalism and the Development of the Productive Forces 193
(4) Four Epochs 197
(5) Capitalism's Mission, and its Fate 201
(6) The Presuppositions of Socialism 204
(7) Why are Classes Necessary? 207
VIII. BASE AND SUPERSTRUCTURE, POWERS AND RIGHTS 216
(1) Identifying the Superstructure 216
(2) The Problem of Legality 217
(3) Explanation of Property Relations and Law by Production Relations 225
(4) Bases Need Superstructures 231
(5) Is the Economic Structure Independently Observable? 234
(6) More on Rights and Powers 236
(7) Rights and Powers of the Proletariat 240
(8) Addenda 245
IX. FUNCTIONAL EXPLANATION: IN GENERAL 249
(1) Introduction 249
(2) Explanation 251 .
(3) Function-statements and Functional Explanations 253
(4) The Structure of Functional Explanation 258
(5) Confirmation 265
(6) Are any Functional Explanations True? 266
(7) Consequence Explanation and the Deductive-nomological Model 272
X. FUNCTIONAL EXPLANATION: IN MARXISM 278
(1) Introduction 278
(2) Conceptual Criticisms of Functional Explanation 280
(3) Functionalism, Functional Explanation, and Marxism 283
(4) Elaborations 285
(5) Marxian Illustrations 289
XI. USE-VALUE, EXCHANGE-VALUE, AND CONTEMPORARY CAPITALISM 297
(1) Introduction 297
(2) The Subjugation of Use-value by Exchange-value 298
(3) A Distinctive Contradiction of Advanced Capitalism 302
(4) Mishan and Galbraith 307
(5) The Argument Reviewed 309
(6) Is Capitalism a Necessary Condition of the Distinctive Contradiction? 313
(7) An Objection 317
(8) The Bias of Capitalism and Max Weber 320
(9) Obiter Dicta 322
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
APPENDIX I. Karl Marx and the Withering Away of Social Science 396
APPENDIX II. Some Definitions 415
LIST OF WORKS CITED 425
NAME INDEX 433
SUBJECT INDEX 437
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