AuthorPEFFER, RODNEY GENE.
AdvisorBuchanan, Allen E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis work first exposits and analyzes Marx's implicit moral theory and then examines various objections to the thesis that Marxism and morality are genuinely compatible. Chapter 2 ("Marx's Moral Perspective") traces the development of Marx's moral views and argues that his implicit moral theory is based on the values of freedom (as self-determination), human community and self-realization. Chapter 3 ("Morality and Marx's Theory of Exploitation") argues that Marx's concept of exploitation is, in part, evaluative and involves the violation of the freedom of the exploited due to undemocratic social institutions. In Chapters 4 ("Utilitarian Interpretations of Marx") and 5 ("Freedom, Equality, and Human Dignity in Marx") I argue that Marx is not a utilitarian nor, strictly speaking, a consequentialist of any sort: he does not demand the maximization of a nonmoral good but, rather, a maximum system of equal freedoms, both positive and negative. Chapter 6 ("Marxism, Morality, and Self-Interest") argues (1) that Marx's form of practical reasoning is not purely prudential nor, for any other reason, non-moral in nature and (2) that, in reality, Marx sees moral concerns as well as self-interest as part of revolutionary motivation. Chapter 7 ("Marxism and Moral Historicism") argues against the view that Marx is a "moral historicist," as well as against the thesis that morality is irrelevant from a Marxist point of view because socialism is (purportedly) inevitable. Chapter 8 ("Morality and Ideology") analyzes the Marxist concept of ideology and argues that once we become clear about both this concept and that of morality, we see that morality is not, as a whole, ideological. Chapter 9 ("Marxism, Moral Relativism, and Moral Objectivity") argues that Marxism is not committed to any pernicious form of ethical relativism and then brings to bear hypothetical choice theories and the ideal of unanimous intersubjective agreement. Finally, Chapter 10 ("Marx's Critique of Justice and Rights") takes up Marx's objections to these concepts and argues (1) that they either apply only to certain 'bourgeois' theories or are based on misconceptions and (2) an adequate Marxist moral and social theory must be grounded on theories of justice and human rights.