By Jon Elster
A concise and accomplished advent to Marx's social, political and monetary suggestion for the start pupil. Jon Elster surveys in flip all of the major topics of marxist suggestion: method, alienation, economics, exploitation, old materialism, periods, politics, and beliefs; in a last bankruptcy he assesses 'what resides and what's useless within the philosophy of Marx'. The emphasis all through is at the analytical constitution of Marx's arguments and the method is instantaneously sympathetic, undogmatic, and rigorous.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Karl Marx
27 Marxist Methodology There is a good deal to each of these views. If in my opinion they have not succeeded in dethroning rational-choice theory from its dominant position, it is because they lack robustness and predictive power. " To discredit a theory it is not sufficient to adduce facts that count against it; one must also produce another, better explanation. As long as the sociological theory does not specify the limits within which behavior will remain unaffected by changes in the feasible set, or the satisficing theory does not come up with an explanation of why people have different ideas of what is good enough, they will not be able to claim superiority.
The need for microfoundations in Marxist economic theory is argued in John Roemer, Analytical Foundations of Marxian Economics (Cambridge University Press, 39 Marxist Methodology 1981). For the distinction between the self-realization of Man and that of men, see G. A. Cohen, "Karl Marx's dialectic of labour," Philosophy and Public Affairs 3 (1974): 235-61. Marxism and rational choice. An introduction to the basic concepts in rational-choice theory is R. D. Luce and H. RaifIa, Games and Decisions (Wiley, 1957).
On this account, the autonomy of the person is threatened from two sides: by the tendency toward excessively impulsive or myopic behavior that Freud referred to as the Id and by the tendency toward rigid and compulsive behavior that he called the Superego.