Accessible introduction to key thinkers of Marxist theory and the debate on the nature of Marxist ethics.
Marxism and Ethics is a comprehensive and highly readable introduction to the rich and complex history of Marxist ethical theory as it has evolved over the last century and a half. Paul Blackledge argues that Marx’s ethics of freedom underpin his revolutionary critique of capitalism. Marx’s conception of agency, he argues, is best understood through the lens of Hegel’s synthesis of Kantian and Aristotelian ethical concepts. Marx’s rejection of moralism is not, as suggested in crude materialist readings of his work, a dismissal of the free, purposive, subjective dimension of action. Freedom, for Marx, is both the essence and the goal of the socialist movement against alienation, and freedom’s concrete modern form is the movement for real democracy against the capitalist separation of economics and politics. At the same time, Marxism and Ethics is also a distinctive contribution to, and critique of, contemporary political philosophy, one that fashions a powerful synthesis of the strongest elements of the Marxist tradition. Drawing on Alasdair MacIntyre’s early contributions to British New Left debates on socialist humanism, Blackledge develops an alternative ethical theory for the Marxist tradition, one that avoids the inadequacies of approaches framed by Kant on the one hand and utilitarianism on the other.
|Publisher:||State University of New York Press|
|Series:||SUNY series in Radical Social and Political Theory Series|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Paul Blackledge is Professor of Political Theory at Leeds Metropolitan University. He is the author of Perry Anderson, Marxism, and the New Left and Reflections on the Marxist Theory of History, and the coeditor (with Graeme Kirkpatrick) of Historical Materialism and Social Evolution.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Introduction: Marxism’s Ethical Deficit 1. Ethics as a Problem for Marxism 2. Marx and the Moral Point of View 3. Ethics and Politics in Second and Third International Marxism 4. Western Marxism’s Tragic Vision: Socialist Ethics in a Non-Revolutionary Age 5. Alasdair MacIntyre’s Contribution to an Ethical Marxism Conclusion: From Ethics to Politics References Index
What People are Saying About This
This book provides impressive evidence of the intellectual and moral strengths of contemporary Marxism. Paul Blackledge has provided the best history so far written of Marxism's engagement with ethics. He enables us to understand Marx's own moral concerns better than Marx himself did. And he has made an incisive contribution to contemporary moral debate. Critics of Marx and Marxism, including sympathetic critics such as myself, will have to take this book very seriously. (Alasdair MacIntyre, author of After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, Third Edition)