Marx's Dialectic Method

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Wesleyan University/John C. Wiley & Sons, Inc.


In the Grundrisse and Capital Marx's method and epistemology are quite different from the positions he held on these matters in either the 1844 Manuscripts or the German Ideology. Despite these differences Marx in the Grundrisse and Capital finds a middle ground between his two earlier out- looks and works elements of them into a new synthesis. It is my contention then that neither the essential unity view, which accepts no fundamental shifts in Marx's thought and often tends to see his epistemology as a social subjectivism, nor Althusser's view, which argues a complete rupture and char- acterizes Marx's epistemology as a radical anti-empiricism, is an accurate description of the development of Marx's thought.


Reprinted in Karl Marx’s Social and Political Thought: Critical Assessments — Second Series. Ed. B. Jessop and R. Weatley. London: Routledge, 1999, Vol. V, 215-33.