Karl Marx’s Philosophy of Nature, Action and Society: A New Analysis
Author: Justin Holt
Date Of Publication: May 2009
This work analyses Marx's philosophy of nature and shows how it is the basis for his practical philosophy. Previous analysis of Marx's philosophy of nature has considered humans as only natural beings and social beings. But, Marx analyzed humans' relationship to the natural world and to themselves as natural, social, and material. This material feature of human action can server as a basis for social critique and as the foundation for a practical analysis. The first chapter of this book analyzes Marx's philosophy of nature from his early to late works and argues that humans are natural begins that use nature to develop new capacities. This consideration is central in Marx's critiques of Hegel and Feuerbach. The second chapter discusses Marx's material critique of social forms and discusses why the distinction between material action and social action is a key component of Marx critique of capitalism. This chapter also discusses industrial history, ideology, wages, justice, and valorization. The third and final chapter builds on Marx's materialist analysis to develop a standard of practical action that takes human's material activity as its basis. This chapter also discusses classical historical materialist claims, liberal ethical theories, and a practical philosophic consideration of socialism.
Justin Holt received his PhD in 2007 from the New School for Social Research's Philosophy Department. He currently teaches Ethics and Political Philosophy at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, a division of New York University. He has published essays and book reviews on Hegel, Marx, Political Economy, and Distributive Ethics. He is also an editor for the journal Science & Society.
"I think justin has produced a powerful and compelling new interpretation of Marx's materialism that is closely related to political action. I recommend the book most warmly and without reservation."
- Simon Critchley, Professor and Chair of Philosophy, New School for Social Research, New York City
"In his book, Justin Holt considers the understanding of nature in Marx and establishes a materialist standard for practical action as a universal realization of human project. Holt managed to produce a truly original interpretation of Marx's account of nature, which is a timely enterprise at the moment where we are overusing our natural resources and face a possibility of a global environmental catastrophe."
- Dmitri Nikulin, Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, New School for Social Research, New York
"...a powerful and thought provoking philosophical defense of communism as a viable and necessary alternative, vouching for far greater, but not unlimited, enhancement of the collective and the individual".
Ishay Landa, Israeli Open University in Marx and Philosophy Review of Books, 24 March 2010
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Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)