Marx and ethics

New York: Oxford University Press (1988)
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This book traces the development of Marx's ethics as they underwent various shifts and changes during different periods of his thought. In his early writings, his ethics were based on a concept of essence much like Aristotle's, which Marx tried to link to a principle of universalization similar to Kant's "categorical imperative." In the period 1845-46, Marx abandoned this view, holding morality to be incompatible with his historical materialism. In the later work he was less of a determinist. Though he no longer wished to reject morality, he did want to transcend a morality of burdensome obligation and constraint in order to realize a community built upon spontaneous bonds of solidarity.



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Philip J. Kain
Santa Clara University

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