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The structure of Marx's world-view.

McMurtry, JM; (1975) The structure of Marx's world-view. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The Introduction identifies a representative host of objections that have been brought against Marx's theory of historical materialism, and organizes these objections into a definite, complex problematic. The rest of Book 1 provides the solution to this problematic while, more broadly, systematically disclosing a precise and integrated theoretical framework underlying Marx's labyrinthine work. (This framework is developed in eight chapters: the first six of which explain its central categories in the "ascending" order that follows, and the last two of which explain the central relationships (called "economic determinism" and "technological determinism") held by Marx to obtain among the referents of these categories. ) Chapter I ascertains and delineates Marx's hitherto undisclosed theory of human nature implicit in his post-1845 work. This disinterred theory yields what has often been held as the crucial "missing factor" in the mature Marx's thought, and at the same time defines a new foundation to the structure of his world-view. Chapter II then explicates Marx's concept of the historical materialist actualization of this human-nature, and the chief causal factor in his theory, the forces of production: in such manner that Marx's notion of the latter is rendered clear and schematic, and shown free of sundry claimed flaws. In Chapter III, the most enigmatic and important category in Marx's entire corpus - the relations of production/Economic Structure, which he holds to be the "essence" of any and all historical society -- is made lucid by an original characterization induced from Marx's work. Resolution to a matrix of attendant problems to do with his concepts of "alienation", "class". "laws of motion" and so on follows. Chapter IV concerns itself with the precise nature of Marx's idea of the. legal and political superstructure: particularly its distinction from the Economic Structure and the grounds for holding it superstructural, both of which critics have judged impossible to secure. Chapter V argues from Marx's texts for a new and more rigorous concept of ideology: which it is shown enables refutation of the most influential criticisms which have been brought against Marx's theory in this connection. Chapter VI introduces to Marx's general theoretical framework a previously undiscerned distinct category, forms of social consciousness and delineates it. Chapter VII works out a novel explanation of the pivotal Marxian doctrine of "economic determinism" which renders the latter immune to the standard objections issued against it. And Chapter VIII provides the first systematic account of the principles of "correspondence" claimed by Marx to hold between forces and relations of production (the theoretical essence of his "technological determinism"): from which principles the primacy of the forces of production is explained and the basic laws of historical materialism are developed. ---------- Book 2 Having secured the precise structure of Marx's world-view in Book 1, the enterprise in Book 2 is to achieve its Aufhebung: with respect to the focus of Marx's own concern, domination and liberation. Marx's general principles of domination and liberation are ascertained, and then shown to be multiply inadequate both in the consistent range of their application to spheres of sociohistorical intercourse, and, as such. Growing out of this analysis emerges a new and higher order theory of domination and liberation, which introduces such basic concepts as adult/youth structure of domination", "psychological means of life", "forces of destruction", "term ownership" and, most importantly, "formal domination" in its sublating metamorphosis of the Marxian paradigm.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The structure of Marx's world-view.
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Philosophy

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