Dissertation > Marxism,Leninism,Mao Zedong Thought,Deng Xiaoping Theory > Marxism,Leninism,Mao Zedong Thought,Deng Xiaoping's theory of learning and research > Study and research of Marxism > Study and research of the writings of Marx and Engels

Analysis of Marxism and its critique

Author ChenWei
Tutor WuXiaoMing
School Fudan University
Course The philosophy of Marxism
Keywords analytical Marxism the productive forces the productive relations the Development Thesis the Primacy Thesis proper functional explanation
CLC A811
Type PhD thesis
Year 2007
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Analytical Marxism, initiated in 1970s within the English-speaking academic circle, is one of the new methods to study Marxism. The birth and development of analytical Marxism have close relation with "September Group" and the concerned scholars. It is "September Group" that offers an academic platform for the birth and development of analytical Marxism. It is the political commitment to Marxism that promotes the philosophers and social scientists to innovate the research modes of Marxism. The theoretical system of analytical Marxism includes three aspects: historical materialism, theoretical principles and research methodology. The research of historical materialism is the initiative and the philosophical foundation of the research of the analytical Marxism.Our point for Cohen’s theory of history is that it is a new Marxian theory of history, which uses the productive forces to explain the historical development. G. A. Cohen is the founder of analytical Marxist theory of history. Applying modern western mainstream methodologies, especially the analytical techniques of analytical philosophy, he differentiated the material and social property of society, and put forward the distinct definitions of the productive forces, the productive relations, the economic structure and the superstructure. He brought forth, for the first time, "the Development Thesis" and "the Primacy Thesis proper", and provided the full explanations for the clarity of them. Cohen argued that the explanation of historical Marxism is mainly functional explanation, and hence established a clear and rigorous approach for the analysis of Marxist theory of history.In the process of re-exploring Marxist theory of history, Cohen’s theory of history has been restricted by three aspects, which are the techniques of analytical philosophy, the dual properties of society and functional explanation. The techniques of analytical philosophy are subject to the restriction of research methodologies, that is, on one hand, they help bring clarity and strictness to Cohen’s theory of history, and on the other hand, they put so much emphasis on the analysis in terms of language and logic that the full perception of the world itself is likely to be neglected. The classification of dual properties of society is subject to the restriction of epistemology, that is, on one hand, it benefits Cohen’s theory of history with the inheritance of Marxist analytical and perceptive angle, and on the other hand, it is inclined to isolate the essence and macrocosm of the world as a whole. Functional explanation is restricted by hermeneutics, that is, on one hand, it provides historical materialism with a new approach of explanation, and on the other hand, it has the tendency to conceal the truth of historical materialism.Cohen’s theory of history, which utilizes modern western mainstream methodologies to re-explore historical materialism, has and will continue to exert significant influence upon Marxist theoretical research of the international academic circle as well as Marxism innovation of our nation.

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