Cover image for Karl Marx's theory of history : a defence
Title:
Karl Marx's theory of history : a defence
Author:
Cohen, G. A. (Gerald Allan), 1941-2009.
Edition:
Expanded edition.
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 2001.

©2000
Physical Description:
xxviii, 442 pages ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780691070681
Format :
Book

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Status
Central Library D16.9 .C56 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

G. A. Cohen was emeritus fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford.


Table of Contents

Note On References and Acknowledgementsp. xvi
Introduction To The 2000 Edition: Reflections On Analytical Marxismp. Xvii
I Images of History in Hegel and Marxp. 1
II The Constitution of the Productive Forcesp. 28
(1) Economic Structure and Productive Forcesp. 28
(2) Some Terminological Pointsp. 37
(3) Labour Powerp. 40
(4) Sciencep. 45
(5) More Candidates for the Cataloguep. 47
(6) The Development of the Productive Forcesp. 55
III The Economic Structurep. 63
(1) Ownership Rights in Productive Forcesp. 63
(2) Possible and Impossible Ownership Positions of Producersp. 66
(3) Subordinationp. 69
(4) Redefining the Proletarianp. 70
(5) The Structural Definition of Classp. 73
(6) The Individuation of Social Formsp. 77
(7) Modes of Productionp. 79
(8) Varieties of Economic Changep. 85
IV Material and Social Properties of Societyp. 88
(1) Introducing the Distinctionp. 88
(2) Matter and Form in the Labour Processp. 98
(3) Use-value and Political Economyp. 103
(4) Revolutionary Value of the Distinction toy
(5) Against Marx on Millp. 108
(6) Work Relations III
V Fetishismp. 115
(1) Fetishism in Religion and in Economicsp. 115
(2) What is True and What is False in Fetishismp. 116
(3) Diagnosis of Commodity Fetishismp. 119
(4) Diagnosis of Capital Fetishismp. 122
(5) Commodity Fetishism and Moneyp. 124
(6) Commodity Fetishism, Religion, and Politicsp. 125
(7) Communism as the Liberation of the Contentp. 129
VI The Primacy of the Productive Forcesp. 134
(1) Introductionp. 134
(2) Assertions of Primacy by Marx: The Prefacep. 136
(3) Assertions of Primacy by Marx: Outside the Prefacep. 142
(4) The Case for Primacyp. 150
(5) The Nature of the Primacy of the Forcesp. 160
(6) Productive Forces, Material Relations, Social Relationsp. 166
(7) 'All earlier modes of production were essentially conservative'p. 169
(8) Addmdwnp. 172
VII The Productive Forces and Capitalismp. 175
(1) The Emergence of Capitalismp. 175
(2) The Capitalist Economic Structure and the Capitalist Mode of Productionp. 180
(3) Capitalism and the Development of the Productive Forcesp. 193
(4) Four Epochsp. 197
(5) Capitalism's Mission, and its Fatep. 201
(6) The Presuppositions of Socialismp. 204
(7) Why are Classes Necessary?p. 207
VIII Base and Superstructure, Powers and Rightsp. 216
(1) Identifying the Superstructurep. 216
(2) The Problem of Legalityp. 217
(3) Explanation of Property Relations and Law by Production Relationsp. 225
(4) Bases Need Superstructuresp. 231
(5) Is the Economic Structure Independently Observable?p. 234
(6) More on Rights and Powersp. 236
(7) Rights and Powers of the Proletariatp. 240
(8) Addendap. 245
IX Functional Explanation: In Generalp. 249
(1) Introductionp. 249
(2) Explanationp. 251
(3) Function-statements and Functional Explanationsp. 253
(4) The Structure of Functional Explanationp. 258
(5) Confirmationp. 265
(6) Are any Functional Explanations True?p. 266
(7) Consequence Explanation and the Deductive-nomological Modelp. 272
X Functional Explanation: In Marxismp. 278
(1) Introductionp. 278
(2) Conceptual Criticisms of Functional Explanationp. 280
(3) Functionalism, Functional Explanation, and Marxismp. 283
(4) Elaborationsp. 285
(5) Marxian Illustrationsp. 289
XI Use-Value, Exchange-Value, and Contemporary Capitalismp. 297
(1) Introductionp. 297
(2) The Subjugation of Use-value by Exchange-valuep. 298
(3) A Distinctive Contradiction of Advanced Capitalismp. 302
(4) Mishan and Galbraithp. 307
(5) The Argument Reviewedp. 309
(6) Is Capitalism a Necessary Condition of the Distinctive Contradiction?p. 313
(7) An Objectionp. 317
(8) The Bias of Capitalism and Max Weberp. 320
(9) Obiter Dictap. 322
XII Fetteringp. 326
XIII Reconsidering Historical Materialismp. 341
XIV Restricted and Inclusive Historical Materialismp. 364
XV Marxism After the Collapse of the Soviet Unionp. 389
Appendix I Karl Marx and the Withering Away of Socia

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