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Marx and Ethics
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Marx and Ethics

Philip J. Kain


This book traces the development of Karl Marx's ethics as they underwent various shifts and changes during different periods of his thought. In his early writings, his ethics are based on a concept of essence much like Aristotle's, which Marx tries to link to a principle of universalisation similar to Immanuel Kant's ‘categorical imperative’. In the period 1845–6 Marx abandoned this view, holding morality to be incompatible with his historical materialism. In the later writings Marx is less of a determinist, and he no longer wants to reject morality. However, he does want to transcend a morali ... More

Keywords: Karl Marx, ethics, Aristotle, universalisation, Kant, morality, historical materialism, determinism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1991 Print ISBN-13: 9780198239321
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239321.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip J. Kain, author
Santa Clara University, California