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Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory

Ed. by Baurmann, Michael / Leist, Anton

2 Issues per year

Online
ISSN
2365-9858
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Volume 37, Issue 1-2

Issues

Why Marxism Still Does Not Need Normative Theory

Brian Leiter
Published Online: 2016-02-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/auk-2015-1-204

Abstract

Marx did not have a normative theory, that is, a theory that purported to justify, discursively and systematically, his normative opinions, to show them to be rationally obligatory or objectively valid. In this regard, Marx was obviously not alone: almost everyone, including those who lead what are widely regarded as exemplary ‘moral’ lives, decide and act on the basis of normative intuitions and inclinations that fall far short of a theory. Yet self-proclaimed Marxists like G. A. Cohen and Jurgen Habermas have reintroduced a kind of normative theory into the Marxian tradition that Marx himself would have ridiculed. This essay defends Marx’s position and tries to explain the collapse of Western Marxism into bourgeois practical philosophy, i.e., philosophizing about what ought to be done that is unthreatening to capitalist relations of production.

About the article

Published Online: 2016-02-11

Published in Print: 2015-11-01


Citation Information: Analyse & Kritik, Volume 37, Issue 1-2, Pages 23–50, ISSN (Online) 2365-9858, ISSN (Print) 0171-5860, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/auk-2015-1-204.

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© 2015 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart.

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