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On Transhistorical Abstractions and the Intersection of Historical Theory and Social Critique

On Transhistorical Abstractions and the Intersection of Historical Theory and Social Critique Historical Materialism , volume 12:3 (125–146) © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2004 Also available online – www.brill.nl 1 Marx 1981, p. 10. Joseph Fracchia On Transhistorical Abstractions and the Intersection of Historical Theory and Social Critique Reading Marx as a critical social theorist, Moishe Postone designates the Grundrisse (1857–8) as the first of Marx’s ‘mature’ writings. In this, he disagrees with Marx’s own retrospective, written in 1859, which points to the first sketch of the materialist conception of history in the German Ideology (1845) as his work of self-clarification and, presumably, his entry into maturity. 1 My point in raising this is not simply to quibble about when Marx matured, but to note that this question of intellectual biography has a methodological flip-side that involves the relation between historical theory (the materialist conception of history developed in The German Ideology ) and the analysis of a specific socio-economic form (developed in the Grundrisse and Capital ). A joint consideration of these two matters gives rise to the following questions: was Marx’s work ‘only’ a critique of capitalism? Was his entire intellectual career a continual shedding of his various theoretical skins until he was able to focus exclusively and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Historical Materialism Brill

On Transhistorical Abstractions and the Intersection of Historical Theory and Social Critique

Historical Materialism , Volume 12 (3): 125 – Jan 1, 2004

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1465-4466
eISSN
1569-206X
DOI
10.1163/1569206042601774
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Historical Materialism , volume 12:3 (125–146) © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2004 Also available online – www.brill.nl 1 Marx 1981, p. 10. Joseph Fracchia On Transhistorical Abstractions and the Intersection of Historical Theory and Social Critique Reading Marx as a critical social theorist, Moishe Postone designates the Grundrisse (1857–8) as the first of Marx’s ‘mature’ writings. In this, he disagrees with Marx’s own retrospective, written in 1859, which points to the first sketch of the materialist conception of history in the German Ideology (1845) as his work of self-clarification and, presumably, his entry into maturity. 1 My point in raising this is not simply to quibble about when Marx matured, but to note that this question of intellectual biography has a methodological flip-side that involves the relation between historical theory (the materialist conception of history developed in The German Ideology ) and the analysis of a specific socio-economic form (developed in the Grundrisse and Capital ). A joint consideration of these two matters gives rise to the following questions: was Marx’s work ‘only’ a critique of capitalism? Was his entire intellectual career a continual shedding of his various theoretical skins until he was able to focus exclusively and

Journal

Historical MaterialismBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2004

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