Analytical Marxism

   A school of thought that emerged in the late 1970s, largely prompted by the publication of Gerry Cohen’s Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence. In this book Cohen drew on the Anglo–American analytical philosophical tradition to raise the standards of clarity and rigor in Marxist theory, a move that led him to distance Marxism from continental European philosophy, and to reject much of the Hegelian and dialectical tradition attached to Marx’s writings. Other important figures in this essentially academic school are Jon Elster, John Roemer, Adam Przeworski and Erik Olin Wright, who developed Marxist theory in the direction of a rational choice Marxism. Analytical Marxism emphasizes methodology, and the utilizing of analytical philosophy, rational choice theory and methodological individualism (the doctrine that all social phenomena can only be explained in terms of the actions, beliefs, etc of individual subjects) has led many Marxists and scholars of Marxism to argue that analytical Marxism represents a departure from Marx’s approach.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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