Philosophy Karl Marx
by
David Leopold
  • LAST REVIEWED: 08 October 2015
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 April 2015
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0265

Introduction

Karl Marx (1818–1883) was born into a Jewish family, living in the Rhineland region of Prussia. Marx’s father was a lawyer whose conversion to Christianity allowed him to continue his career. Marx studied at the universities of Bonn and Berlin, writing a doctoral thesis in ancient philosophy (on the philosophy of nature in Democritus and Epicurus). His political radicalism made it difficult for him to stay in the German Confederation, and his adult life was made up of three successive exiles—in Paris (1843–1845), Brussels (1845–1848), and London (1849–1883). Throughout that adult life, Marx combined radical political activity, independent scholarship, and financial insecurity, in varying proportions. He was a prolific writer; his (and Engels’s) collected writings, in the most authoritative, and still ongoing, edition (the new MEGA, or Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe), will contain 114 volumes when complete. Identifying the central concerns of that body of work is controversial, but they surely include a theory of history, an account of alienation and human nature, a critique of modern capitalism, and a vision of communism. Determining the content of Marx’s views on these, and other, topics is not easy. He could produce clear and precise prose, but much of his output is opaque and less certain. In addition to the complexity and unfamiliarity of some of his ideas, Marx’s writings include texts written in a variety of languages (German, English, and French), targeting long-forgotten contemporaries, published under conditions of censorship, written only for the purposes of self-clarification, and so on. The resulting interpretative difficulties are hopefully eased by the bibliographical recommendations in this article. The literature on Marx’s life, ideas, and influence is considerable, but it has historically been rather mixed in quality. Happily, there is a growing body of interesting and scholarly work on Marx in English, and the recommendations here reflect that development. In order to remain manageable and focused, this bibliography concentrates primarily on English-language literature, and especially on more recent and more “analytical” contributions to that literature.

General Overviews

There are a large number of single volume introductions to Marx’s thought, but not all of them are insightful or scholarly. However, the following works can be recommended on those grounds. Wolff 2002 and Wolff 2010 provide genuine introductions. Elster 1985 offers a broad critical engagement, especially with Marx’s social scientific views. Wood 2004 treats Marx’s philosophical views as a whole. Carver 1991 provides an edited collection of essays on central threads in Marx’s work. Kolakowski 2008 provides a survey of the subsequent Marxist tradition.

  • Carver, Terrell, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Marx. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

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    A collection of essays, by diverse hands, typically offering reliable introductions to central areas of Marx’s thought (history, politics, and so on). The collection also includes essays on topics—such as Marx and religion (by Denys Turner), and Marx’s aesthetic views (by William Adams)—that are not otherwise well represented in this bibliography.

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    • Elster, Jon. Making Sense of Marx. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

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      Jon Elster’s book is not short, but it offers a clear critical reconstruction of what might be called the social scientific elements of Marx’s writings. Elster is both provocative and insightful, and he covers Marx’s views on such areas as method, economics, theory of history, class, politics, and the state.

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      • Kolakowski, Leszek. Main Currents in Marxism. New York: Norton, 2008.

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        Kolakowski offers a sense of the wider Marxist tradition, providing a historical survey of the founders (Marx and Engels), the golden age (from Kautsky to Lenin), and the breakdown (Stalin and early Western Marxism). A huge intellectual achievement, combining exposition and critical comment. (Given its size, readers may prefer to treat it as a reference resource to consult, rather than a book to be read cover to cover.)

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        • Wolff, Jonathan. Why Read Marx Today? Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

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          Jonathan Wolff offers a short but highly readable and consistently intelligent engagement with Marx’s critical and constructive views, broadly recommending Marx the social critic and skeptical of Marx the prophet of future communist society.

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          • Wolff, Jonathan. “Karl Marx.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edited by Edward N. Zalta. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 2010.

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            The shortest of the general introductions to Marx recommended here, but characteristically pellucid and not lacking in sophistication.

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            • Wood, Allen W. Karl Marx. 2d exp. ed. London: Routledge, 2004.

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              Allen Wood provides the best one-volume overview of Marx’s philosophical views as a whole, although his account of Marx’s views on morality have tended to provoke rather than persuade readers. A consistently interesting and illuminating work.

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              Editions of Marx’s Work

              The publication history of Marx’s writings is a tortuous one, often driven by the political struggles of the 20th century, and full of abandoned projects, dubious and misleading scholarship, and even straightforward censorship. The current state of Marx’s corpus is far from ideal, but both the scholarly level of the editing, and the accessibility of the texts, is much greater than was previously the case. Readers can now access collected editions of various extents, together with online editions and useful single-volume collections.

              Collected Editions

              There is now a scholarly, albeit as yet unfinished, original language edition of Marx’s collected works (Marx and Engels 1975–1990) available, and an extensive, if smaller, English-language collected works (Marx and Engels 1975–2005). The Pelican Marx Library (Marx 1973–1981) is a third collection, which offers a more modest, and manageable, selection of texts in modern translations.

              • Marx, Karl. Grundrisse. Introduced by Martin Nicolaus. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1973a.

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                Originally in seven notebooks, the Grundrisse is a draft outline of the project that would become Capital. This volume is the first English edition of these important materials, which illuminate Marx’s economic thought, his intellectual development, and his method of working.

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                • Marx, Karl. The Revolutions of 1848. Introduced by David Fernbach. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1973b.

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                  This volume collects some of Marx’s political writings from the Revolutions of 1848. It mainly consists of his journalism from the Neue Rheinsiche Zeitung, but also includes The Communist Manifesto, coauthored with Friedrich Engels.

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                  • Marx, Karl. The Pelican Marx Library. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1973–1981.

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                    The following eight volumes (Marx 1973a, Marx 1973b, Marx 1974a, Marx 1974b, Marx 1976, Marx 1978, Marx 1979, Marx 1981) originally formed the “Pelican Marx Library,” which was published in association with the New Left Review. They mainly contain whole texts in good modern translations, and include interesting introductions. They are no longer branded as part of the Pelican Marx Library, but are still published as individual volumes.

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                    • Marx, Karl. Early Writings. Introduced by Lucio Colletti. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1974a.

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                      This volume collects some of Marx’s writings from 1843–1844, including his “Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,” and the “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts.”

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                      • Marx, Karl. The First International and After. Introduced by David Fernbach. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1974b.

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                        This volume collects some of Marx’s political writings from the 1860s and 1870s, including his account of the Paris Commune in The Civil War in France, and his response to the draft unity program of the German socialists in Critique of the Gotha Programme.

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                        • Marx, Karl. Capital. Vol. 1. Introduced by Ernest Mandel. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1976.

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                          Marx’s major study of the “laws of motion” of capitalism, and the only volume of Capital prepared for publication by Marx himself. It mainly models the production of commodities, but also includes material on the genesis of the capitalist mode of production.

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                          • Marx, Karl. Capital. Vol. 2. Introduced by Ernest Mandel. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1978.

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                            Volume 2 was constructed by Engels from Marx’s notes. It mainly models the circulation of commodities under capitalism, but also elaborates some of the arguments of the first volume.

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                            • Marx, Karl. Surveys from Exile. Introduced by David Fernbach. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1979.

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                              This volume collects some of Marx’s political writings from the 1850s, including his study of French politics after 1848, the Class Struggles in France, and his initial examination of the coup of 1851 in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon.

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                              • Marx, Karl. Capital. Vol. 3. Introduced by Ernest Mandel. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1981.

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                                Volume 3 was also constructed by Engels from Marx’s notes. It is, in many ways, incomplete, but begins the plan of integrating the models of production and circulation into an account of the “totality” of the capitalist economy.

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                                • Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe. Projected 114 vols. Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1975–1990.

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                                  Since 1990, published by Akademie Verlag (Berlin). The new MEGA has changed both its editorial board, and its publisher, since its inception. It remains the largest and most scholarly contemporary edition of Marx’s and Engels’s writings. It publishes texts in their original language, with all the scholarly apparatus in German. It is organized in four parts: works, articles, and speeches (not related to Capital); Capital and related writings; correspondence; and notebooks and marginalia. The edition, when eventually complete, will be as close to definitive as we have.

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                                  • Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. Collected Works. London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1975–2005.

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                                    MECW, or the Marx Engels Collected Works, is a fifty-volume English language edition. While not as complete as, and with less scholarly apparatus than, the new MEGA, it has the advantage of being finished and extensive. The translations and editorial apparatus are variable in quality, but it is an excellent working edition. It is organized in three parts: works, articles, and speeches not related to Capital (Volumes 1–27); Capital and closely related writings (Volumes 28–37); and correspondence (Volumes 38–50).

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                                    Single Volumes

                                    There are several useful single-volume selections from Marx’s writings, but Marx 2000 is both comprehensive and informative. Marx 1974 is an example of a more specialist volume, which includes texts not available in the English-language collected works.

                                    • Marx, Karl. The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx. Edited by Lawrence Krader. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum, 1974.

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                                      This is a scholarly example of material available in English editions but not part of MECW. This particular volume contains some of Marx’s late period excerpt notebooks on early societies (engaging with the writings of Maxim M. Kovalevsky, John Lubbock, Henry Maine, Lewis H. Morgan, and others). These texts raise the question of how far Marx’s late reflections on early societies embody or imply significant changes to his theory of history.

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                                      • Marx, Karl. Selected Writings. Edited by David McLellan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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                                        This is probably the most useful single-volume edition of Marx’s collected writings, although some of the texts are published in excerpt form. David McLellan’s compilation contains a wide range of material from throughout Marx’s life, with helpful short introductions to particular texts.

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                                        Online Editions

                                        The best-known online resource is the volunteer-run, nonprofit, library of texts at the Marxists Internet Archive. Started in 1990, the archive includes work by later Marxists, in addition to texts by Marx and Engels themselves.

                                        Reference Works

                                        When studying Marx’s writings, readers often have questions about the date and context of their composition, about the references they contain, and so on. These questions are not always answered by the particular edition that the reader is using. In such circumstances, Draper 1985a, Draper 1985b, and Draper 1986 are hugely useful reference tools. These three volumes of the Marx-Engels Cyclopedia are an enormously helpful reference works for a library to have available.

                                        • Draper, Hal. The Marx-Engels Cyclopedia. Vol. 1, The Marx–Engels Chronicle: A Day-by-Day Chronology of Marx and Engels’ Life and Activity. With the assistance of the Center for Socialist History. New York: Schocken, 1985a.

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                                          The Chronicle is a chronological account of Marx’s location and activities, enabling the reader to check where he was, and what he was doing, at any point in his life.

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                                          • Draper, Hal. The Marx-Engels Cyclopedia. Vol. 2, The Marx–Engels Register: A Complete Bibliography of Marx and Engels’ Individual Writings. With the assistance of the Center for Socialist History. New York: Schocken, 1985b.

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                                            The Register is a bibliography providing useful information about the language in which texts were written, when they were first published, and so on. It also contains some helpful checklists, such as a checklist of New York Daily Tribune articles from the 1850s and early 1860s, identifying which were written by Marx and/or Engels.

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                                            • Draper, Hal. The Marx-Engels Cyclopedia. Vol. 3, The Marx–Engels Glossary: Glossary to the Chronicle and Register, and Index to the Glossary. With the assistance of the Center for Socialist History. New York: Schocken, 1986.

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                                              The Glossary gives a brief account of all the persons and organizations that are mentioned in the first two volumes. Draper provides short biographical and political characterizations, which can help in tracking down and understanding Marx’s references.

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                                              Bibliographies

                                              There are two bibliographies particularly worthy of mention. The first is Draper 1985 (also mentioned above under Reference Works). The second is A Marx Bibliography, an online bibliography of secondary literature in English maintained by Andrew Chitty at the University of Sussex, in the United Kingdom.

                                              • Draper, Hal. The Marx-Engels Cyclopedia. Vol. 2, The Marx–Engels Register: A Complete Bibliography of Marx and Engels’ Individual Writings. With the assistance of the Center for Socialist History. New York: Schocken, 1985.

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                                                The Register provides useful information about the language in which texts were written, when they were first published, and so on. It also contains some helpful checklists, such as a checklist of New York Daily Tribune articles in the 1850s and early 1860s, identifying which were written by Marx and/or Engels.

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                                                • A Marx Bibliography.

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                                                  Andrew Chitty maintains A Marx Bibliography online, published at the University of Sussex. It is especially good on the early Marx, alienation, and Hegelianism. It is currently organized under nine main headings: 1. General; 2. Precursors and Development; 3. Species Being and Alienation; 4. Materialism and Praxis; 5. History and Ideology; 6. Capital; 7. State and Law; 8. Ethics and Critique; 9. Proletariat, Revolution and Communism.

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                                                  Biography

                                                  There are a huge number of biographies of Marx, and no sign of the supply drying up. No single volume has managed to establish itself as the definitive biography, but McLellan 1973, Siegel 1978, and Sperber 2013 all provide highly readable volumes, each with distinctive merits. Gabriel 2011 is a useful and readable supplement to those biographies.

                                                  • Gabriel, Mary. Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of Revolution. New York: Little, Brown, 2011.

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                                                    Mary Gabriel plugs a gap in many other treatments, placing Marx in the context of the family relationships that were of central importance in his life.

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                                                    • McLellan, David. Karl Marx: His Life and Thought. London: Macmillan, 1973.

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                                                      David McLellan provides a reliable older account, which contains a lot of information presented in a straightforward but readable manner.

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                                                      • Siegel, Jerrold. Marx’s Fate: The Shape of a Life. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978.

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                                                        Jerrold Siegel offers an idiosyncratic mix of psychology and biography that is consistently intelligent and interesting.

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                                                        • Sperber, Jonathan. Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life. New York: Norton, 2013.

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                                                          Jonathan Sperber is a historian whose biography attempts to return Marx to his 19th-century context, and is perhaps stronger on his political activities than on his theoretical views.

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                                                          Theory of History

                                                          There is a lengthy literature on Marx’s theory of history, much of it prompted by Cohen 1978 and Cohen 1988. Often complex but always intellectually rewarding, G. A. Cohen’s volumes have provoked a huge volume of criticism. Not all of that criticism matches the philosophical standard of its target, but Cohen 1982 and Cohen 1992 are highly recommended. Away from G. A. Cohen’s work, several others—including Shanin 1983, Elster 1984, and Anderson 2010—have examined Marx’s late reflections on economically “backwards” countries, including contemporary Russia, and considered how far these qualify or break with his earlier views of historical development. Wickham 2007 is a collection of essays reflecting on the contemporary relevance of Marx’s theory for practicing historians.

                                                          • Anderson, Kevin B. “Late Writings on Non-Western and Precapitalist Societies.” In Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies. By Kevin B. Anderson, 196–236. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

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                                                            Utilizing a wide variety of textual evidence, including Marx’s late reflections on Russian economic “backwardness,” Anderson maintains that Marx’s theory of social change was neither as unilinear, nor as one-sidedly class-based, as often thought.

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                                                            • Cohen, G. A. Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence. Oxford: Clarendon, 1978.

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                                                              A brilliant account—hugely insightful and appropriately sophisticated—of its subject matter, and a founding document in the body of thought subsequently known as “Analytical Marxism.” An expanded edition, published in 2000, added some refinements to Cohen’s interpretation of Marx, as well as some reflections on Analytical Marxism.

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                                                              • Cohen, Joshua. “Review of G. A. Cohen.” Journal of Philosophy (1982): 253–273.

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                                                                Joshua Cohen provides a powerful and illuminating critical engagement with Cohen 1978.

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                                                                • Cohen, G. A. History, Labour, and Freedom: Themes from Marx. Oxford: Clarendon, 1988.

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                                                                  This collection of essays elaborates Cohen’s original interpretation of Marx’s theory of history (“Forces and Relations of Production,” in particular, is a helpful summary of that original account), but also contains some initial self-criticism and revision. For instance, questioning the explanatory ambitions of that theory, and drawing a distinction between “inclusive” and “restricted” historical materialism.

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                                                                  • Cohen, Joshua. “Minimalist Historical Materialism.” In On the Track of Reason: Essays in Honor of Kai Nielsen. Edited by Rodger Beehler, David Copp, and Béla Szabados, 155–174. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1992.

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                                                                    Joshua Cohen questions G. A. Cohen’s later distinction between “inclusive” and “restrictive” historical materialism, suggesting that this reformulation reflects basic problems with the idea that material conditions constrain the forms of social order (in any interesting way).

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                                                                    • Elster, Jon. “Historical Materialism and Economic Backwardness.” In After Marx. Edited by Terence Ball and James Farr, 36–58. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

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                                                                      Jon Elster discusses how Marx, and some later Marxists, understood the problem of revolution in economically backward countries, and relates this issue to Marx’s periodization of history.

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                                                                      • Shanin, Teodor, ed. Late Marx and the Russian Road: Marx and “the Peripheries of Capitalism.” London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983.

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                                                                        Contains the text of Marx’s correspondence (1881) with Vera Zasulich, together with several interpretative essays on that exchange of letters. Both parts of the book raise the question of how far Marx’s late reflections on Russia embody or imply significant changes to his earlier theory of history.

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                                                                        • Wickham, Chris, ed. Marxist History-Writing for the Twenty-First Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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                                                                          A collection of essays, mainly, but not entirely, by practicing historians, reflecting on the utility, or otherwise, of Marx’s work for the contemporary study of history.

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                                                                          State and Politics

                                                                          Commentators typically agree that Marx has a theory of the state, but disagree over where to find it, and in what it might consist. See, for example, Miller 1991, Elster 1985, Hunt 1974, Hunt 1984, and Draper 1977. Those texts are mainly concerned, as was Marx, with the state in capitalist society. Leopold 2007 discusses the state and politics in Marx’s early writings. Cunliffe 1981 examines the role of “party” in Marx’s account of social transition.

                                                                          • Cunliffe, John. “Marx, Engels and the Party.” History of Political Thought 2 (1981): 349–367.

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                                                                            John Cunliffe traces Marx’s uses of “party,” seeking to demonstrate both his indifference to organizational forms, and his lack of a theory of the party (in a modern sense).

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                                                                            • Draper, Hal. Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution. Vol. 1, State and Bureaucracy. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977.

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                                                                              Hal Draper’s book (the first of a five-volume series) resists easy summary, but offers an account of Marx’s developing theory of the state, written from an engaged political perspective and full of rich textual discussion. Draper’s scholarship means that there is a lot of interesting material here, even for those not wholly persuaded by his interpretation.

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                                                                              • Elster, Jon. “Politics and the State.” In Making Sense of Marx. By Jon Elster, 398–428. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

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                                                                                Jon Elster gives a schematic but illuminating account of three models of the state in capitalist society to be found in Marx’s mature work. These three models embody a developmental story about Marx’s changing understanding of the “autonomy” of the modern state from the interests of the economically dominant class.

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                                                                                • Hunt, Richard N. The Political Ideas of Marx and Engels. Vol. 1, Marxism and Totalitarian Democracy 1818–1850. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1974.

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                                                                                  In this first of two volumes, Richard Hunt offers a readable introduction to Marx’s and Engels’s earlier political writings. He rejects the interpretation of these works as part of a tradition of “totalitarian democracy.”

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                                                                                  • Hunt, Richard N. The Political Ideas of Marx and Engels. Vol. 2, Classical Marxism 1850–1895. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1984.

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                                                                                    In the second of these two volumes, Richard Hunt offers a readable introduction to the later political writings of Marx and Engels. He reconstructs the political dimensions of Marx’s vision of communism as involving “democracy without professionals.”

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                                                                                    • Leopold, David. The Young Karl Marx: German Philosophy, Modern Politics, and Human Flourishing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                      David Leopold seeks to make sense of the young Marx’s account of the achievements and limitations of what, in the early writings, is called “political emancipation” (the form of emancipation characteristic of the contemporary world). See chapter 3.

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                                                                                      • Miller, Richard W. “Social and Political Theory: Class, State, Revolution.” In The Cambridge Companion to Marx. Edited by Terrell Carver, 55–105. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

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                                                                                        A helpful introductory essay that covers a lot of ground, placing Marx’s theory of the state in the context of his wider social and political philosophy.

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                                                                                        Marx and Anarchism

                                                                                        Marx’s engagement with his political opponents is often characterized by fiercely polemical language. This is especially true of his relations with those contemporary writers and activists who are now usually characterized as anarchists, including Max Stirner, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and Mikhail Bakunin. Thomas 2012 offers a broad overview of the disputes here. Draper 1990 offers an account more sympathetic to Marxism. Carter 1988, McLaughlin 2001, and Clark 1979, provide interpretations that are more sympathetic to anarchism (and to Bakunin’s criticisms of Marx, in particular).

                                                                                        • Carter, Alan. Marx: A Radical Critique. Brighton, UK: Wheatsheaf, 1988.

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                                                                                          Alan Carter offers a defense of Bakunin’s criticisms of some of Marx’s political views, and, more generally, provides a critical engagement with Marx’s writings from a perspective sympathetic to environmentalist and anarchist concerns. See chapter 5.

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                                                                                          • Clark, John P. “Marx, Bakunin, and the Problem of Social Transformation.” Telos 42 (1979): 80–97.

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                                                                                            John Clark looks at the different views of social transformation, the nature of domination, and the conditions for human emancipation held by Bakunin and Marx.

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                                                                                            • Draper, Hal. Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution. Vol. 4, Critique of Other Socialisms. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1990.

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                                                                                              Hal Draper provides a characteristically robust and sympathetic account of Marx’s rejection of anarchism. See chapters 5 and 6, and “Special Note B.”

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                                                                                              • McLaughlin, Paul. “On the Fate of the State: Bakunin Versus Marx.” Labyrinth 3 (2001).

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                                                                                                Paul McLaughlin offers an account and, broadly speaking, a defense of Bakunin’s characterization and critique of Marx’s nonanarchistic understanding of future communist society.

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                                                                                                • Thomas, Paul. Karl Marx and the Anarchists. London: Routledge, 2012.

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                                                                                                  First published in 1980, Thomas offers clear and helpful overviews of Marx’s critical engagement with Stirner, Proudhon, and Bakunin.

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                                                                                                  Economic Theory and Exploitation

                                                                                                  There is a huge literature on Marx’s economic thought, but much of it is technical and unsuited to a philosophical bibliography of the present kind. The recommendations that follow are highly selective and only give a limited sense of the wider field here. Hollander 2008 covers a broad overview of Marx’s economic views, Harvey 2010 provides a guide to reading Marx’s magnum opus, and Steedman 1981 contains critical essays on the labor theory of value. Roemer 1982 restates some central claims of Marxian economics, using the tools of general equilibrium and game theory. Roemer 1986 and Vrousalis 2013 discuss the character and importance of Marx’s concept of exploitation. Since the nature of exploitation is central to debates about Marxism and morality, readers should see also Morality and Justice.

                                                                                                  • Harvey, David. A Companion to Marx’s Capital. Vol. 1. London: Verso, 2010.

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                                                                                                    David Harvey is a Marxist geographer who has done much to encourage the reading of Capital in a series of online lectures and written volumes. The present volume is designed to be read alongside Volume 1 of Capital.

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                                                                                                    • Harvey, David. A Companion to Marx’s Capital. Vol. 2. London: Verso, 2013.

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                                                                                                      This second volume by David Harvey is designed to be read alongside Volume 2 of Capital, making Marx’s text both easier to understand and more widely read.

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                                                                                                      • Hollander, Samuel. The Economics of Karl Marx: Analysis and Application. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511510663Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        A wide-ranging and scholarly account of Marx’s economic thought concerned with the central parts of his “positive” economics (including value and distribution, growth theory, falling rate of profit, and economic cycles), the development of his thought, and the relation of his work to certain classical competitors (including David Ricardo).

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                                                                                                        • Roemer, John. A General Theory of Exploitation and Class. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.4159/harvard.9780674435865Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          John Roemer’s important and influential work sought to restate some central claims of Marxian economics using the tools of general equilibrium and game theory.

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                                                                                                          • Roemer, John. “Should Marxists be Interested in Exploitation?” In Analytical Marxism. Edited by John Roemer, 260–282. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

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                                                                                                            In a series of articles—some more technical than others—Roemer argues that exploitation is a morally secondary phenomena, and that our normative attention should rather be focused on the justice or injustice of property relations.

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                                                                                                            • Steedman, Ian, ed. The Value Controversy. London: Verso, 1981.

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                                                                                                              This volume is focused on the “Straffian” critique of the labor theory of value formulated by Ian Steedman, but also contains material of wider interest. Not least, it includes an important essay by G. A. Cohen on the relation between the labor theory of value and the concept of exploitation.

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                                                                                                              • Vrousalis, Nicholas. “Exploitation, Vulnerability, and Social Domination.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 41.2 (2013): 131–157.

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                                                                                                                Nicholas Vrousalis offers an insightful and engaging critique of alternatives (including the influential distributive injustice view of John Roemer), and a defense of a definition of economic exploitation as the instrumentalization of someone’s economic vulnerability for the appropriation of (the fruits of) their labor.

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                                                                                                                Class, Class Struggle, and Revolution

                                                                                                                Class analysis is often thought to be at the heart of Marxism, or at least at the heart of its sociological theory. Class struggle and revolution, in turn, play important parts in Marx’s understanding of the transition between historical epochs, and in his political strategy for bringing a communist society into existence. Olin Wright 2005 offers a Marxian inspired account of contemporary class divisions. Parkin 1979 criticizes Marx’s theory from a Weberian perspective. Cohen 2000 maintains that the proletariat isn’t what it used to be. And Shaw 1984 responds to rational choice critics of Marx’s strategic views.

                                                                                                                • Cohen, G. A. If You’re an Egalitarian, How Come You’re So Rich? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                  G. A. Cohen has argued that the conjunction of features that once gave plausibility to Marx’s claims about the will and capacity of the proletariat to bring about socialism no longer obtain today. One consequence of that historical change, he suggests, has been to impel Marxists into normative political philosophy. See chapter 6.

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                                                                                                                  • Olin Wright, Erik. “Foundations of a Neo-Marxist Class Analysis.” In Approaches to Class Analysis. Edited by Erik Olin Wright, 1–22. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                    Erik Olin Wright has written extensively on Marxist class analysis and its relevance to understanding the class structure of contemporary industrial societies. In this chapter he provides an account of the purpose of class analysis, and of its close links to exploitation.

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                                                                                                                    • Parkin, Frank. Marxism and Class Theory: A Bourgeois Critique. London: Tavistock, 1979.

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                                                                                                                      Frank Parkin offers a powerful, and often wry, critique of Marxist accounts of class from a broadly Weberian perspective.

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                                                                                                                      • Shaw, William H. “Marxism, Revolution, and Rationality.” In After Marx. Edited by Terence Ball and James Farr, 12–35. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

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                                                                                                                        William Shaw provides a critical response to those enthusiasts for rational choice models who have argued that rational proletarians will not join the revolution even if they know that socialism is in their interests, and that its advantages outweigh the costs of joining.

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                                                                                                                        Alienation and Early Writings

                                                                                                                        Much of the literature is concerned not only to unpack Marx’s account of alienation, but also to trace its place in the evolution of his thought (determining whether, and in what ways, he came to abandon his early account) and its connections to concepts of alienation in other thinkers (above all Hegel). Plamenatz 1975, Wood 2004, and Arthur 1986 offer contrasting interpretations of these issues. Brudney 1998 and Leopold 2007 provide more wide-ranging discussions of Marx’s early writings. Given the centrality of human nature to some accounts of alienation, see also Human Nature.

                                                                                                                        • Althusser, Louis. For Marx. London: New Left Books, 1969.

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                                                                                                                          Louis Althusser’s important collection of essays offers a “symptomatic” reading of Marx, maintaining that the ingredients of a properly Marxist philosophy are largely absent from his early writings (and, indeed, are only apparent in parts of his later work).

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                                                                                                                          • Arthur, Chris. Dialectics of Labour: Marx and his Relation to Hegel. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986.

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                                                                                                                            A discussion of the account of alienation in Marx’s “1844 Manuscripts,” and the relation of that account to Hegel’s Phenomenology and to Marx’s own later work. Arthur insists on the continuing relevance of Hegel to Marx’s work.

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                                                                                                                            • Brudney, Daniel. Marx’s Attempt to Leave Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                                              Daniel Brudney identifies a “Feuerbachian” inspired attempt in the early writings to avoid philosophy (or at least to avoid certain kinds of metaphysical and moral theories), an attempt that proves incompatible with other views that Marx holds (not least, that existing social and political arrangements are opaque and problematic).

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                                                                                                                              • Leopold, David. The Young Karl Marx: German Philosophy, Modern Politics, and Human Flourishing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511490606Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                David Leopold offers an account of the young Marx’s understanding of alienation, as separations that frustrate human flourishing. He examines some connections between that account of alienation and Marx’s critique of contemporary “political emancipation” and vision of future “human emancipation.”

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                                                                                                                                • Plamenatz, John. Karl Marx’s Philosophy of Man. Oxford: Clarendon, 1975.

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                                                                                                                                  An older and somewhat neglected study that presents a consistently interesting and independent-minded account of Marx’s conception of humankind as “self-creative beings” liable to alienation.

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                                                                                                                                  • Wood, Allen W. Karl Marx. 2d ed. London: Routledge, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                    Allen Wood offers a clear and stimulating account of Marx’s concept of alienation. Wood offers a healthy skepticism about the existence of a developed theory of alienation, let alone a theory offering a kind of master key to Marx’s corpus. See Part One.

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                                                                                                                                    Human Nature

                                                                                                                                    Marx’s understanding of human nature, including its character and its place in his wider theoretical views, is much debated. Geras 1983 critiques the popular and mistaken view that Marx rejects the idea of a universal human nature. Cohen 1988 discusses the character and limitations of Marx’s philosophical anthropology. Given the centrality of human nature to some accounts of alienation, see also Alienation and Early Writings.

                                                                                                                                    • Cohen, G. A. “Reconsidering Historical Materialism.” In History, Labour, and Freedom: Themes from Marx. By G. A. Cohen, 132–154. Oxford: Clarendon, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                      G.A. Cohen criticizes Marx for the “one-sidedness” of his philosophical anthropology (which impacts deleteriously on his vision of the future), and interrogates the relation between Marx’s understanding of human nature and his theory of history.

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                                                                                                                                      • Geras, Norman. Marx and Human Nature: Refutation of a Legend. London: New Left Books, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                        Norman Geras’s short book is a model of insightful argument. It attempts to dispose of the surprisingly resilient myth that Marx rejected the idea of a universal human nature.

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                                                                                                                                        • Heller, Agnes. Theory of Need in Marx. London: Alison & Busby, 1976.

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                                                                                                                                          A study of Marx’s account of human needs and their fulfillment by a member of the so-called Budapest school. Agnes Heller maintains that individual needs are central to both Marx’s critique of capitalism and his vision of communism.

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                                                                                                                                          Ideology

                                                                                                                                          Ideology, for Marx, seems to involve the prevalence of certain false or misleading ideas that help to sustain class-divided societies, typically by obscuring or justifying certain flaws in those societies—flaws that redound to the advantage of the economically dominant class. Larrain 1983 offers an introduction to Marxist views on ideology. Rosen 1996 criticizes Marx’s views. Rosen’s account is further explored in Rosen and Wolff 1996. Leiter 2007 looks at some connections between morality and ideology. Torrance 1995 is a more wide-ranging study of Marx’s understanding of “ideas.” Shaw 1989 examines why Marx thinks that the ruling ideas in class-divided societies are the ideas of the ruling class.

                                                                                                                                          • Larrain, Jorge. Marxism and Ideology. London: Macmillan, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                            An introduction to the concept of ideology, and an account of Marx’s own theory as coherent and negative. Ideology is portrayed as a distortion of thought that originates from, and conceals, “social contradictions.” See chapter 1.

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                                                                                                                                            • Leiter, Brian. “Morality Critics.” In The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy. Edited by Brian Leiter and Michael Rosen, 711–754. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                              Brian Leiter offers an interesting picture of Marx as an “indirect” morality critic, attacking morality for the ideological role it plays in sustaining economic and political structures that are inimical to human flourishing.

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                                                                                                                                              • Rosen, Michael. On Voluntary Servitude: False Consciousness and the Theory of Ideology. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                A clear, provocative, and critical account of various models that Marx appeals to in his evolving account of ideology. See chapter 6.

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                                                                                                                                                • Rosen, Michael, and Jonathan Wolff. “The Problem of Ideology.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl., 70 (1996): 229–241.

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                                                                                                                                                  In this exchange, Michael Rosen helpfully summarizes some of the claims about Marx elaborated in his monograph On Voluntary Servitude, and Jonathan Wolff offers thoughtful and illuminating critical reflection on those claims.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Shaw, William H. “Ruling Ideas.” In Analyzing Marxism: New Essays on Analytical Marxism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supplementary Volume 15. Edited by Robert Ware and Kai Nielsen, 425–448. Calgary, AB: University of Calgary Press, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                    William Shaw identifies a number of plausible mechanisms that, on a Marxist account, might explain why the ruling ideas, in class-divided societies, are the ideas of the ruling class.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Torrance, John. Karl Marx’s Theory of Ideas. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                      A wide-ranging study of Marx’s theorizing about consciousness, ideology, morality, and science. Offers an account of ideology as a prescriptive theory that results from “socially generated illusions.”

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                                                                                                                                                      Morality and Justice

                                                                                                                                                      Marx’s attitude toward morality, and the place of moral claims in his theories, have long been debated. In particular, commentators have argued about whether Marx’s critique of capitalist society rests on normative (but not moral) claims, or moral (but not justice-based) claims, or justice-based claims (which may not have been fully recognized by Marx himself). Geras 1985, Geras 1992, and Peffer 1990 (cited under Marx and Liberalism), offer both an overview of the debate and an interpretation of Marx as holding views about the injustice of capitalism. Lukes 1985, Leiter 2004, Wood 2004, and Wood 2014 reject such readings. White 1996 examines the role of needs in Marx’s critique of capitalism. Husami 1978 offers a critique of Wood. Since the nature of exploitation is central to some of these debates, readers should see also Economic Theory and Exploitation.

                                                                                                                                                      • Geras, Norman. “The Controversy about Marx and Justice.” New Left Review I/150 (March–April 1985): 47–85.

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                                                                                                                                                        An authoritative guide to its subject, and a defense of the view that Marx suffered from deceptive self-understanding on this issue, holding both that capitalism was unjust, and that he didn’t think capitalism was unjust.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Geras, Norman. “Bringing Marx to Justice: An Addendum and Rejoinder.” New Left Review I/195 (September–October 1992): 37–69.

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                                                                                                                                                          A restatement and further defense of the view that Marx thought that capitalism was unjust, but did not think that he thought that capitalism was unjust.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Husami, Ziyad. “Marx and Distributive Justice.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 8 (1978): 27–44.

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                                                                                                                                                            Ziyad Husami offers a distinctive defense of the claim that Marx thought that capitalism was unjust, and a critique of Allen Wood’s reading of Marx’s views.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Leiter, Brian. “The Hermeneutics of Suspicion: Recovering Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud.” In The Future for Philosophy. Edited by Brian Leiter, 74–105. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                              A stimulating defense of the claim that Marx’s views have been neutered by moralizing interpreters of his thought, who have largely neglected the ways in which he was critical of our received understandings of the social and political world.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Lukes, Steven. Marxism and Morality. Oxford: Clarendon, 1985.

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                                                                                                                                                                Lukes offers an account of Marx’s seemingly contradictory views as consistent once we recognize that Marx embraces one kind of morality but rejects another kind (which includes justice and rights). Marx is controversially portrayed as holding that communism is a society that transcends justice considerations.

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                                                                                                                                                                • White, Stuart. “Needs, Labour, and Marx’s Conception of Justice.” Political Studies 44.1 (1996): 88–101.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9248.1996.tb00758.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  Stuart White maintains that Marx’s tacit justice-based critique of capitalism rests on a “needs principle,” which also plausibly explains the basis on which Marx charges the capitalist with “robbing” the worker of labor product.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Wood, Allen W. Karl Marx. 2d ed. London: Routledge, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Allen Wood holds a distinctive, and much discussed, account of Marx as rejecting moral criticism of capitalism. Marx’s critique of capitalism is said to be based rather on the claim that capitalism frustrates some important non-moral goods (including self-realization, health, community, and freedom). See Part 3.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Wood, Allen W. “Marx on Equality.” In The Free Development of Each: Studies on Freedom, Right, and Ethics in Classical German Philosophy. By Allen Wood, 252–273. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Allen Wood reflects on his current attitude toward Marx’s views on capitalism and morality, and provides an interesting and careful examination of Marx’s attitude toward equality in particular.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Marx and Liberalism

                                                                                                                                                                      The relation between Marx and liberalism raises many different issues, not least Marx’s understanding of freedom, individuality, and rights. Buchanan 1982 and Peffer 1990 explore Marx’s critique of liberalism, coming to somewhat different overall conclusions. This topic is also illuminated by comparing Marx’s ideas with those of famous liberal thinkers. The relation between Marx and John Stuart Mill is discussed in Duncan 1973 and Skorupski 2007. The relation between Marx and John Rawls is explored in Cohen 2008, Reiman 2014, Rawls 2007, and Brudney 2014. See also Morality and Justice.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Brudney, Daniel. “The Young Marx and the Middle-Aged Rawls.” In A Companion to Rawls. Edited by Jon Mandle and David A. Reidy, 450–471. Chichester, UK: Wiley, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                        A comparison of some ideas in Marx’s early writings and Rawls’s A Theory of Justice. Brudney uses ideas of alienation to nuance and soften certain traditional contrasts between these two authors.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Buchanan, Allen E. Marx and Justice: The Radical Critique of Liberalism. London: Methuen, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Allen Buchanan presents a clear account, and defense, of the interpretation of Marx as a radical critic of rights and justice as such (not merely bourgeois rights and justice). He also discusses Marxian criticisms of Rawls.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Cohen, G. A. Rescuing Justice and Equality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                            A rich and provocative critical engagement with Rawlsian political philosophy, from a perspective deeply indebted to the Marxian tradition.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Duncan, Graeme. Marx and Mill: Two Views of Social Conflict and Social Harmony. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1973.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Graeme Duncan compares the “social doctrines” of Marx and John Stuart Mill, and considers how well they enable us to understand and assess contemporary societies.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Peffer, Rodney G. Marxism, Morality, and Social Justice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990.

                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1515/9781400860890Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Rodney Peffer defends a reading of Marx as “a mixed deontologist” in moral matters, committed to maximizing equal (positive and negative) freedoms. He rejects the picture of Marx as a critic of rights and justice as such (as distinct from bourgeois rights and justice). He also discusses Marxist criticisms of Rawls.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Rawls, John. Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy. Edited by Samuel Freeman. Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  A collection of John Rawls’s lectures on political philosophers (from Hobbes to Sidgwick). The three lectures on Marx concern the latter’s view of capitalism as a social system, his understanding of right and justice, and his idea of a future society of freely associated producers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Reiman, Jeffrey. As Free and as Just as Possible: The Theory of Marxian Liberalism. Chichester, UK: Wiley, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    An imaginative attempt to outline and defend a “Marxian Liberalism,” which combines certain natural rights to liberty with the belief that private property is coercive.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Skorupski, John. Why Read Mill Today? London: Routledge, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      John Skorupski provides a constructive and illuminating comparison between Marx and Mill, focusing on their conception of the good life for human beings. See chapter 4.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Vision of the Communist Future

                                                                                                                                                                                      Marx denied that it was either necessary or desirable for socialists to provide detailed accounts of the communist future. That denial formed the basis of his disagreement with the so-called utopian socialists (such as Charles Fourier and Robert Owen), and helps explain the difficulties that commentators have had in working out whether Marx’s account of communism was feasible or desirable. Marx’s engagement with utopian socialism is discussed in Cohen 2000 and Leopold 2005. His account of communism is discussed in Ware 1992, Brudney 1997, and Kandiyali 2014. Marx’s seemingly ominous concept of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” is examined in Draper 1986.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Brudney, Daniel. “Community and Completion.” In Reclaiming the History of Ethics: Essays for John Rawls. Edited by Andrew Heath, Barbara Herman, and Christine M. Korsgaard, 388–415. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Daniel Brudney provides a clear and interesting account of the kind of desirable communal relationships of the future envisaged especially, but not only, in Marx’s early writings.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cohen, G. A. If You’re an Egalitarian, How Come You’re So Rich? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          G. A. Cohen provides a characteristically engaging account of one justificatory thread underlying Marx’s reluctance to engage in questions of socialist design. See chapter three.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Draper, Hal. Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution. Vol. 3, The “Dictatorship of the Proletariat.” New York: Monthly Review Press, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Marx’s infrequent, but much discussed, usage of the term “dictatorship of the proletariat” is discussed authoritatively by Draper.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Kandiyali, Jan. “Freedom and Necessity in Marx’s Account of Communism.” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22.1 (2014): 104–123.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Jan Kandiyali offers an interesting and constructive alternative reading to the traditional account of Marx as replacing his earlier overly “utopian” view of labor in communist society (as involving self-realization) with a more “realistic” later view (in which any self-realization in communist society occurs outside of labor).

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Leopold, David. “The Structure of Marx and Engels’ Considered Account of Utopian Socialism.” History of Political Thought 26.3 (2005): 443–466.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                David Leopold offers an account of the structure of Marx and Engels’s understanding of utopian socialism, seeking to resolve an apparent conflict between their more critical and more approving remarks about that form of socialism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ollman, Bertoll. “Marx’s Vision of Communism: A Reconstruction.” Critique 8.1 (1977): 4–41.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/03017607708413212Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Despite himself, Marx does sometimes identify, usually in passing, features of the communist future that he predicted. Bertoll Ollman assembles some of that evidence in order to reconstruct Marx’s vision.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ware, Robert. “Marx on Some Phases of Communism.” In On the Track of Reason: Essays in Honor of Kai Nielsen. Edited by Rodger Beehler, David Copp, and Béla Szabados, 135–153. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Robert Ware considers how best to understand Marx’s famous distributive remarks about communist society—identifying a progression from the “contribution principle” to the “needs principle”—in the Critique of the Gotha Programme (1875).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Women and Gender

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Much of the relevant literature here consists of feminist critics of Marxism, but the debate about the complex relationship between gender and class continues. The references that follow are not entirely representative of that debate, but rather examples of works that are directly concerned with Marx’s own discussion, including Brown 2012, Vogel 2014, and Carver 1985.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Brown, Heather A. Marx on Gender and the Family: A Critical Study. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2012.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1163/9789004230484Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Heather Brown provides an overview and critique of Marx’s writing on gender and the family, suggesting that they are more substantial and less flawed than often thought.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Carver, Terrell. “Engels’ Feminism.” History of Political Thought 6.3 (1985): 479–489.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        A critique of Engels’s Origin of the Family (1884). Carver suggests that this late work is mistakenly admired by Marxist-feminists who underestimate its flaws—not least, Engels’s failure to question the public/private dichotomy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Vogel, Lise. Marxism and the Oppression of Women: Towards a Unitary Theory. Chicago: Haymarket, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lise Vogel allows that Marx and Engels’s explicit contributions (discussed mainly in Part Two) to the issue of women’s oppression are open to criticism, but suggests that their wider theoretical understanding (especially of “social reproduction”) might nonetheless illuminate the conditions of women’s oppression.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nature and the Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marx has typically been portrayed as having an extravagant “pre-green” enthusiasm for productivity, and as being insensitive to the environmental degradation that industrial society has brought in its wake. However, a number of recent books—including Foster 2000, Hughes 2000, and Burkett 2014—have sought to challenge this dominant interpretation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Burkett, Paul. Marx and Nature: A Red and Green Perspective. Chicago: Haymarket, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Paul Burkett, in a book first published in 1999, examines the place of nature in Marx’s mature critique of political economy. Marx is said to identify the roots of ecological crises within capitalism, and to exhibit a sensitivity to environmental issues in his account of communism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Foster, John Bellamy. Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              By examining Marx’s writings on capitalist agriculture and soil ecology, among other topics, Foster seeks to show that Marx was deeply concerned with the changing human relationship to (the rest of) nature.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hughes, Jonathan. Ecology and Historical Materialism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511490262Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jonathan Hughes attempts to show that, properly understood, Marx’s historical materialism is consistent with the recognition of environmental limits, and can help us to think about their character and resolution.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dialectics and Method

                                                                                                                                                                                                                There is a broad background disagreement between those who identify Marx’s contribution to social and political philosophy in his substantive rather than methodological views, and those who insist on the significance of his methodological views. The latter typically, although not universally, identify those methodological views with the idea of dialectic. For a brief critical introduction to the latter, see Leopold 2008, and for greater enthusiasm for the idea of dialectic see Norman and Sayers 1980, and Ollman 2003. For Marx’s actual methodological approach, see Little 1986. For methodological debates within “Analytical Marxism,” see Elster 1982, Cohen 1982, and Olin Wright 1992.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cohen, G. A. “Reply to Elster on “Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory.” Theory and Society 11.4 (1982): 483–485.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  G. A. Cohen maintains not only that historical materialism is wedded to functional explanation, but also that functional explanation is acceptable in social theory (and that game theory is an implausible alternative in this particular theoretical context).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Elster, Jon. “Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory: The Case for Methodological Individualism.” Theory and Society 11.4 (1982): 453–482.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1007/BF00162324Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jon Elster sees functional explanation as inappropriate in the social sciences, and recommends instead that Marxists utilize the resources of game theory. He endorses the need for “microfoundations” for good sociological practice, and social psychology as the discipline that might help provide them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Leopold, David. “Dialectical Approaches.” In Political Theory Methods and Approaches. Edited by David Leopold and Marc Stears, 106–127. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      David Leopold introduces and endorses some modest notions of dialectic, and maintains that, contrary to some commentary, “Analytical Marxism” is not opposed to them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Little, Daniel. The Scientific Marx. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An innovative and extremely interesting book that focuses not on Marx’s explicit methodological discussions (although these get passing treatment), but on his actual methodological practices (insofar as we can recover them).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Norman, Richard, and Sean Sayers. Hegel, Marx, and Dialectic: A Debate. Brighton, UK: Harvester, 1980.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Both authors agree that dialectic can be fruitful, and that Marx and Hegelian dialectic are related, but they disagree fruitfully both about the precise nature of dialectical “contradiction” and the relation between “conceptual” and “empirical” dialectic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Olin Wright, Erik. “Marxism and Methodological Individualism.” In Reconstructing Marxism. Edited by Erik Olin Wright, Andrew Levine, and Elliott Sober, 107–128. London: Verso, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Erik Olin Wright shares Jon Elster’s view that what is distinctive in Marx’s work is substantive, not methodological, and that Marxists need to adopt good scientific method. However, he maintains that the “reductionist ambitions” of methodological individualism cannot be fulfilled.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ollman, Bertoll. Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx’s Method. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bertoll Ollman presents an enthusiastic defense of Marx’s method as dialectical, and an interpretation of dialectical method as involving a philosophy of “internal relations” and process of abstraction.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hegel, and Left Hegelianism

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Marx’s relation to Hegel is a controversial topic. Commentators are typically concerned with the extent and character of the Hegelian influence (not least, whether, roughly speaking, it is a good or a bad thing). That Hegelian influence is often associated with the young Marx. Arthur 1986 (cited under Alienation and Early Writings) provides an enthusiastically Hegelian account of the young Marx, whereas Leopold 2007 emphasizes the critique of Hegel in the early writings. Moseley and Smith 2014 sees continuing Hegelian dialectical influence on Marx’s critique of political economy. Wood 1993 offers a less methodological comparison between Hegel and Marx. And Stepelevich 1983, Breckman 1999, and Moggach 2006 discuss the Left Hegelians (or Young Hegelians) who are usually thought to mediate the influence of Hegel on Marx.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Breckman, Warren. Marx, the Young Hegelians, and the Origins of Radical Social Theory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A recent scholarly study of the intertwined political and theological dimensions of Young Hegelianism, and of some connections between their work and that of the young Marx.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Leopold, David. The Young Karl Marx: German Philosophy, Modern Politics, and Human Flourishing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Provides an account of the young Marx’s critique of (sections of) Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Marx is said to provide an interesting account and rejection of Hegel’s metaphysics, but nonetheless credits the latter with insight into the nature of the modern state. See chapter 2.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • McLellan, David. The Young Hegelians and Karl Marx. London: Macmillan, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An older but informative account of Marx’s interaction with Bruno Bauer, Ludwig Feuerbach, Max Stirner, and Moses Hess. Organized chronologically, the book outlines Marx’s specific debts to his young Hegelian contemporaries.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Moggach, Douglas, ed. The Young Hegelians: Politics and Philosophy in the Hegelian School. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511498664Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A distinguished group of contributors discuss the writings, especially the social and political writings, of Bruno Bauer, Ludwig Feuerbach, Max Stirner, and others.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Moseley, Fred, and Tony Smith, eds. Marx’s Capital and Hegel’s Logic. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Proponents of the distinctive and dialectical character of Marx’s method are well represented in this collection, which focuses on ways in which parallels with Hegel’s science of logic might illuminate Marx’s mature work in political economy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Stepelevich, Lawrence, ed. The Young Hegelians: An Anthology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An excellent anthology of Left-Hegelian authors. Includes texts and excerpts from Friedrich Strauss, Bruno and Edgar Bauer, Ludwig Feuerbach, Max Stirner, and others.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Wood, Allen W. “Hegel and Marxism.” In The Cambridge Companion to Hegel. Edited by Frederick Beiser, 414–444. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An interesting treatment of the relation between Hegel and Marx, proceeding not through the lens of dialectic, but rather comparing their theories of history and understanding of civil society.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Engels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The intellectual relation between Marx and his close collaborator and friend Friedrich Engels has long been a matter of discussion in the literature. Engels is often treated either as an appendage to Marx lacking any independent thoughts himself, or as responsible for any Marxian views that commentators disapprove of (thereby functioning to preserve a sacred zone around Marx himself). The best works on Engels move beyond those inadequate alternatives in a variety of ways, and include Hollander 2011, Carver 1989, Carver 1983, and Steger and Carver 1999. Hunt 2009 is a recent, and readable, biography. Jones 1982 and (the first part of) Rigby 2007 are concerned with Engels’s contribution to the formation of Marxism. Leopold 2012 discusses Engels’s youthful interest in communitarian socialism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Carver, Terrell. Marx and Engels: The Intellectual Relationship. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Terrell Carver offers a scholarly and interesting account of the philosophical discrepancies between his two protagonists, and of the ways in which Engels’s early role as an intellectual and political catalyst gave way to a more problematic later role as authoritative interpreter of Marx.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Carver, Terrell. Friedrich Engels: His Life and Thought. London: Macmillan, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Terrell Carver offers a thoroughly modern biography of Engels, and is not afraid to take an independent view of controversial issues (such as the paternity of Freddy Demuth).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hollander, Samuel. Friedrich Engels and Marxian Political Economy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511977466Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Samuel Hollander outlines and assesses Engels’s understanding of political economy, but also covers much more than this. For instance, he provides a discussion of Engels’s attitude toward constitutional and welfare reforms within capitalism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hunt, Tristram. The Frock-Coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels. London: Allen Lane, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tristram Hunt provides a recent, and readable, biography of Engels. It is perhaps somewhat stronger on the historical context than on the theoretical ideas of its subject.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jones, Gareth Stedman. “Engels and the History of Marxism.” In The History of Marxism. Vol. 1, Marxism in Marx’s Day. Edited by Eric J. Hobsbawm, 290–324. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gareth Stedman Jones provides a thoughtful and scholarly account of the strengths and weaknesses of Engels’s own Marxism, looking, in particular, at his contribution to the beginnings of Marxism in the period from 1842 to 1845.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Leopold, David. “Socialist Turnips: The Young Friedrich Engels and the Feasibility of Communism.” Political Theory 40.3 (2012): 347–378.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A critical examination of Engels’s early enthusiasm for communitarian socialism. David Leopold argues that Engels’s appeal to the existence of various intentional communities in America and Europe as proof of the feasibility of communism is unsuccessful.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Rigby, S. H. Engels and the Formation of Marxism: History, Dialectics, and Revolution. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Steve Rigby offers an account of the character, and extent of, Engels’s contribution to the formation of Marxism, and then his deviations from Marx’s views in later life.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Steger, Manfred B., and Terrell Carver, eds. Engels after Marx. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A collection of recent essays on Engels as an independent thinker, whose ideas sometimes coincided with, and sometimes diverged from, those of Marx.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Miscellaneous

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some of the best writings on Marx do not fit easily into the above categories. The volumes that follow are on diverse topics, but they are all hugely insightful and rewarding reads. Prawer 1976 is a study of Marx’s literary usages. De Ste. Croix 1981 is a Marx-inspired study of the ancient world. Berman 2010 is an exploration of Marx and modernity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Berman, Marshall. “All That Is Solid Melts into Air: Marx, Modernism, and Modernization.” In All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity. By Marshall Berman, 87–130. London: Verso, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Marshall Berman’s lyrical account of Marx’s complex and balanced engagement with modernity, emphasizing his enthusiasm for the individualism and dynamism that partly constitute the modern world.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • de Ste. Croix, G. E. M. The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World. London: Duckworth, 1981.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Geoffrey de Ste. Croix offers a discussion (mainly in Part One), nicely reflective and engaged, of the ways in which Marx’s social analysis might illuminate the study of the ancient Greek world.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Prawer, S. S. Karl Marx and World Literature. Oxford: Clarendon, 1976.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Siegbert Prawer brilliantly conveys the importance, range, and role of literary references and allusions in Marx’s writings across his lifetime. A hugely erudite and engaging read.

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