A thoroughly researched, full exposition of Marx's and Engel's ideas on morality and ethics.
marxism and morality
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It is reported that the moment anyone talked to Marx about morality, he would roar with laughter. Yet, plainly, he was fired by outrage and a burning desire for a better world. This paradox is the starting point for Marxism and Morality. Discussing the positions taken by Marx, Engels, and their descendants in relation to certain moral issues, Steven Lukes addresses the questions on which Marxist thinkers and actors have taken a number of characteristic stands as well as other questions--personal relations and the moral virtues of the individual, for example--on which Marxism falls silent. A provocative exploration of the gray area where Marxism and morality meet, this book argues that Marxism makes a number of major moral claims and that its appeal has always been, in large part, a moral one.
The interpreter of Marx's writings faces the task of reconciling, on the one hand, Marx's frequent explicit condemnations and criticisms of morality and, on the other, the obvious way in which his world-view reflects substantive moral judgments. In this book R. G. Peffer tackles the challenges of finding in Marx's work an implicit moral theory, of answering claims that Marxism is incompatible with morality, and of developing the outlines of an adequate Marxist moral and social theory. Peffer analyzes the moral components of Marx's thought and considers all the major interpretations of his moral perspective; he concludes that Marx is a mixed deontologist who is most committed to a maximum system of equal freedoms, both positive and negative. He then utilizes contemporary metaethical theory to show that Marxism is compatible with morality in general and with the concepts of justice and rights in particular. Peffer proposes a radically egalitarian theory of social justice (which subsumes Marx's own moral theory) and a minimal set of Marxist empirical theses, which together entail the Marxist's basic normative political positions. This book demonstrates that contemporary analytic political philosophy is invaluable for coming to terms with Marxism and that it is only Marx's less abstract empirical theories about classes and class struggle, the dysfunctions of capitalism, and the possibility of creating democratic, self-managing postcapitalist societies that are needed for the development of an adequate Marxist moral and social theory. Originally published in 1990. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
In this book Marx is revealed as a powerful contributor to the debates that now dominate philosophy and political theory. Using the techniques of analytic philosophy to unite Marx's general statements with his practice as historian and activist, Richard W. Miller derives important arguments about the rational basis of morality, the nature of power, and the logic of testing and explanation. The book also makes Marx's theory of change useful for current social science, by replacing economic determinist readings with a new interpretation in which systems of power relations are the basis of change. Part One discusses Marx's criticisms of the moral point of view as a basis for social choice. The outlook that emerges is humane but antimoral. Part Two argues that Marx's concept of the ruling class is a means, of measuring political power that is ignored yet urgently needed by present-day social science. Part Three bases Marx's theory of history on the dynamics of power, challenging both the standard, economic determinist readings of the theory and standard conceptions of science.
In Marxism's uneasy relationship with ethics a small number of prominent theorists considered it imperative to highlight the moral principles implicit in Marx's social theory and to develop these ethics in the light of changing conditions. They developed a humanistic Marxism in stark contrast to the crude 'end justifies the means' approach of Stalinism. This collection brings together analyses by leading scholars on those thinkers who made significant contributions to ethical thinking within the Marxist tradition - Kautsky, Bloch, Fromm, Marcuse, Lefebvre, Macpherson and Heller.
What happens when 'life's simple joys' become complicated? When pleasure is transformed as a function of consumption, the innocent comforts of food, nature and place are embedded in complex practices of distribution and exploitation. Exotic and diverse objects of pleasure are made available only at the price of a heightened awareness of their origins, genealogies and possible effects; 'authenticity' recedes behind objects produced as pleasures. Troubled Pleasures considers the ways in which modern pleasure is fraught with unhappy implications, at the same time as contemporary critical arguments put into question the touchstones of identity, morality, subjectivity and desire. It brings together writings which explore the sources of pleasure's 'loss of innocence', and which argue the case for a scrupulous 'alternative hedonism'. Including essays on human needs, socialism and gender, a feminist response to Joyce's Ulysses, and a fictional reflection on appetite and excess, Troubled Pleasures plots an Epicurean path between righteous asceticism and conspicuous consumption.
George Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty Four that ‘If there is hope, it lies in the proles.’ A century earlier Marx was unequivocal: the future belonged to the proletariat. Today such confidence might seem misplaced. The proletariat has not yet fulfilled Marx’s expectations, and seems unlikely ever to do so. How could Marx have entertained the notion that the proletariat would emancipate humanity from capitalism and from class rule itself? This book, first published in 1988, attempts an explanation by examining the sources and development of Marx’s concept of the proletariat. It contends that this was not only a crucial element in Marx’s theory but a significant departure in socialist thought. By examining this concept in detail the book uncovers a major contradiction in Marxian thought: although the proletariat is assigned a momentous task it is chiefly depicted as the class of suffering which is why, historically, it has preferred security to enterprise.
principles. A second solution to this problem is to develop a scale for weighing the significance of the conflicting principles in a given case and for concluding which action should be adopted because it is supported by the weightier considerations in that case. Such a solution seems more realistic than the lexical ordering approach, but the development of such a scale is a problematic task. Still other, more complex solutions are possible. Which is the best solution to this problem of conflicting principles of bioethics? We need a moral theory to answer that question. This is the first reason for concluding that the principles of bioethics are not the true foundations of justified judgment in bioethics. What is the problem of the unclear scope and implications of the principles of bioethics and how can an appeal to moral theory help deal with that problem? The scope of a bioethical principle is the range of cases in which it applies. The implications of a bioethical principle are the conclusions to be derived from that principle in those cases in which it applies. It is clear from a review of the discussions in bioethics that there are major unclarities about the scope and implications of each of the principles. Consider, for example, the principle of autonomy.
This is one of the most respected books on Marx's philosophical thought. Wood explains Marx's views from a philosophical standpoint and defends him against common misunderstandings and criticisms. All the major philosophical topics in Marx's work are considered: the central concept of alienation; historical materialism and Marx's account of social classes; the nature and social function of morality; philosophical materialism and Marx's atheism; and Marx's use of the Hegelian dialectical method and the Marxian theory of value.