On Voluntary Servitude: False Consciousness and The Theory of Ideology / Edition 1

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This book addresses a central theme in social and political theory: what is the motivation behind the theory of ideology, and can such a theory be defended?
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ever since &Eacutetienne de la Bo&icirctie posed thevexing question, 'why do some men accept their servitudevoluntarily?', theorists of all persuasions have struggled toprovide a plausible answer. Perhaps the most powerful they havecontrived posits the notion of ideological false consciousness,which found special favour among Marxists. In this sober, detailed,and rigorous reconstruction of the historical discourses ofideology critique, Michael Rosen examines all of the arguments onits behalf and finds them wanting. No one who hopes to rescue thatanswer, or indeed is concerned with the initial question itself,can fail to confront and rebut, if they can, his cogentobjections." Professor Martin Jay, University of California,Berkeley

"On Voluntary Servitude offers a clear analysis and anexploration of some writings off the beaten track." PoliticalStudies

"Fascinating ... ambitious and informative ... incisiveconceptual analysis with scholarship which is accurate andinvigorating." Times Literary Supplement

"He brings ... both tremendous historical erudition and greatphilosophical rigour. Rosen's discussions of Hume, Rousseau, Smithand Hegel are outstanding, as is his sensitive and illuminatingtreatment of Benjamin towards the end of the book ... Undoubtedstrengths and incidental pleasures." Radical Philosophy

"Intellectually scrupulous." Inquiry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745605951
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/6/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Rosen is a Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford.

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction.

2. The Forms of False Consciousness.

3. Rationalism and False Consciousness.

4. Unintended Consequences and the Idea of a Social System.

5. Hegel.

6. Marx.

7. Critical Theory.

8. The Theory of Ideology and Beyond.



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