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In this new analysis of Marxian Political Economy, Howard Engelskirchen focuses in on the social theory underpinning much of Marx's writing and as such provides a new perspective on his defining work - "Das Kapital".
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‘This is a very important book. It not only makes a distinctive and original contribution to Marxism, it is also important for philosophers of science and moral theory. Marx’s dialectical materialism fits into neither of the prevailing conceptions of inquiry: reductionist, ahistorical, atheoretical positivism or postmodernist constructivism. Engelskirchen articulates on Marx’s behalf a sophisticated non-reductionist materialism grounded in the contemporary philosophy of science, philosophy of language and the metaphysics of natural kinds. The question of Marx aside, Engelskirchen’s realist conception of social science is a fundamental contribution to the literature of the philosophy of science and will be of interest to anyone who, in pursuing the study of complex phenomena, seeks to avoid a forced choice between positivism and postmodernism.
The book will be equally important for philosophers interested in moral theory. Marx is a deep critic of bourgeois moral and legal values but his normative concerns are also in some sense continuous with the values he criticizes. This is the classic question of commensurability/incommensurability in the sense of Kuhn. Engelskirchen’s treatment is a marvel of dialectical sophistication. He brilliantly extends his non-reductionist approach to the epistemology and semantics of natural kinds to illuminate the respects of continuity and difference between bourgeois and Marxist normative conceptions. Here too the results will be important to those who until now may have paid little attention to Marx. Anyone interested in how normative conceptions change over time will find in Engelskirchen’s approach a convincing alternative to relativist conceptions.’
- Dr. Richard Boyd, Susan Linn Sage Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University, USAAbout the Author:
Howard Engelskirchen is a lawyer and a philosopher who has previously taught at the University of Santa Clara, Western State University College of Law, the University of Hawaii, Iowa State University and Union College, USA.
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