Read e-book online Marx's Ethics of Freedom (Routledge Library Editions: PDF

By George G. Brenkert

ISBN-10: 1135025789

ISBN-13: 9781135025786

Filenote: PDF retail from EBL. Routledge seems to have taken their wonderful epub and switched over to PDF and further pagination (so now not the common great pdf imprint)
Publish yr note: First released in 1983

This ebook finds Marxs ethical philosophy and analyzes its nature. the writer exhibits that there's an underlying approach of ethics which runs the size and breadth of Marxs inspiration. The publication starts via discussing the methodological aspect of Marxs ethics displaying how Marxs feedback of traditional morality and his perspectives on historic materialism, determinism and beliefs fit with having an ideological approach of his personal. within the gentle of latest social, ethical and political philosophy the insights and defects of Marxs significant moral issues are mentioned.

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Extra resources for Marx's Ethics of Freedom (Routledge Library Editions: Political Science, Volume 49)

Sample text

3 It has sometimes been held that the ultimately determining factor of society was simply the machinery or tools of a society. After all, Marx did say, ‘The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam mill, society with the industrial capitalist’ (MECW, 6:166). This view is, however, wildly implausible. Machinery by itself can do nothing. One only has to reflect on how hand-mills and steam mills come about, as well as the conditions required for their operation, to recognize that more is required.

It is to a discussion of the methodological bases of this ethics that we now turn. 48 2 Ethics and materialism historical It has not occurred to any of these philosophers to inquire into the connection of … philosophy with … reality, the relation of their criticism with their own material surroundings. (The German Ideology, MECW, 5:30) Marx’s lifelong work was an attempt to understand and ruthlessly to criticize human society. This criticism, I maintain, was at least in part a moral criticism, as well as one which, Marx held, might play an active and effective role in changing society.

For example, an individual qua capitalist must try to 57 create more surplus value. A worker must try to sell his labor. Thus, within each social formation certain behaviors are necessitated by the role and relations constituting that social formation. ’ Accordingly, if the individual in the travelling cell must act in some prisoner-like manner (whatever that might be), then it would appear that he is not free. Thus, again historical materialism raises deterministic problems for morality. Finally, it might be noted that the above account of historical materialism is developed on a level at some abstraction from the level of particular acts and events.

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Marx's Ethics of Freedom (Routledge Library Editions: Political Science, Volume 49) by George G. Brenkert

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