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AuthorGrier, Philip T. author
TitleMarxist Ethical Theory in the Soviet Union [electronic resource] / by Philip T. Grier
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1978
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Descript 293 p. online resource


A survey of the intellectual history of Marxism through its several phases and various national adaptations suggests, for any of at least three reasons, that the attempt to provide a widely acceptable summary of 'Marxist ethics' must be an enterprise with little prospect of success. First, a number of prominent Marxists have insisted that Marxism can have no ethics because its status as a science precludes bias toward, or the assumption of, any particular ethical standpoint. On this view it would be no more reasonable to expect an ethics of Marxism than of any other form of social science. Second, basing themselves on the opposite assumption, an equally prominent assortment of Marxist intellectuals have lamented the absence of a coherently developed Maryist ethics as a deficiency which must be remedied. ! Third, less comยญ monly, Marxism is sometimes alleged to possess no developed ethical theory because it is exclusively committed to advocacy of class egoism on behalf 2 of the proletariat, and is thus rooted in a prudential, not a moral standpoint. The advocacy of proletarian class egoism - or 'revolutionary morality- may, strictly speaking, constitute an ethical standpoint, but it might be regarded as a peculiar waste of time for a convinced and consistent class egoist to develop precise formulations of his ethical views for the sake of convincing an abstract audience of classless and impartial rational observers which does not happen to exist at present


One / Marxism and Ethical Theory: A Brief History -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Feuerbachian and Marxian humanism -- 3. Engels, Kautsky, and neo-Kantian ethical theory -- 4. Marx and Hegelian ethical theory -- Two / Soviet Philosophy: The Ambiguous Inheritance of Materialism -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Feuerbachian materialism as a critique of Hegel -- 3. Marxian naturalism and materialism -- 4. Engels, Plekhanov, and Lenin on dialectical materialism -- 5. Dialectical materialism and the critique of dialectical idealism in Soviet thought -- Three / The Origins of Soviet Ethical Theory -- Four / Ethical Theory and its Object, Morality -- 1. Morality as an aspect of social consciousness -- 2. The science of ethics and its object -- 3. Universal norms and class norms of morality -- Five / Discussions of Value Theory in Soviet Marxism -- 1. The origins of the discussion and the distinction of value from fact -- 2. Analyses of value -- 3. Value judgments and truth -- 4. Good and evil -- 5. Conclusion: Soviet theories of value and metanormative naturalism -- Six / Society and the Individual -- 1. Social utilitarianism -- 2. The concept of interest -- 3. Duty, responsibility, and freedom -- 4. Patriotism -- Seven/Historical Progress and Intrinsic Value -- 1. The problem of a criterion of progress in Soviet philosophy -- 2. The criterion of progress in Marxโ{128}{153}s philosophy of history -- 3. Philosophy of history and cosmology in Marx -- 4. Cosmos and value, society and progress -- Eight / Soviet Criticisms of โ{128}{152}Bourgeoisโ{128}{153} Ethical Theory -- 1. Kantian ethics and Soviet deontological theories -- 2. The influence of Hegel on Soviet ethical theory -- 3. The critique of neopositivist ethical theory -- 4. The critique of existentialist ethical theory -- Nine / Conclusions -- References -- Selected Bibliography

Philosophy Political philosophy Philosophy Political Philosophy


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