Academic contributions[ edit ] Roemer has contributed mainly to five areas: Marxian economics , distributive justice, political competition, equity and climate change, and the theory of cooperation. In optimizing with respect to market prices, agents choose one of five class positions, each consisting of various combinations of these three activities. This gives rise to a class structure, whose agricultural nomenclature would be landlords who only hire labor , rich peasants who hire labor and work themselves on their fields , middle peasants who only work for themselves and do not participate in the labor market , poor peasants who work on their own plot and sell labor , and landless laborers who only sell labor. Independently of this taxonomy, individuals are either exploiters or exploited, depending upon whether they consume goods embodying more or less labor than they expend. The central result, the Class Exploitation Correspondence Principle CECP , states that individuals who optimize by hiring labor are necessarily exploiters, and those who optimize by selling labor are exploited.

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See Article History Analytical Marxism, a movement within Marxist theory and in various branches of social science and philosophy that seeks to investigate and develop the substantive theses of standard Marxism using the techniques of conceptual analysis associated with analytic philosophy and the methods of standard neoclassical economics.

Analytical Marxism represents a break with conventional Marxist theorizing precisely in its rejection of the view that there is a profound methodological divide between Marxism and bourgeois social science.

They place great emphasis on the need to state arguments clearly and in a manner that optimizes the possibilities for rational discussion and critique , and they often characterize the methodological stance of other Marxists as being obscurantist or directed toward evading falsification. Specifically, it appeared that Marx had been committed both to the claim that the social and economic structure of a society was to be explained as a function of its scientific and technological development and to the claim that the very same structure caused and therefore explained that scientific and technical progress.

Elster did not oppose the use of functional explanation in principle but rather argued that, to be legitimate , it had to be underpinned by more conventional causal or intentional modes of explanation. Whereas the theory of evolution by natural selection provided such an explanatory underpinning for biological science, Cohen had provided no such supporting mechanism for historical materialism or for the social sciences more generally.

Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. In particular, analytical Marxism became widely associated with methodological individualism in social theory the claim that large-scale social phenomena should be explained in terms of the behaviour of human individuals , rational-choice theory the claim that large-scale social phenomena should be explained in terms of the choices of rational individuals seeking to maximize utility, or benefit to themselves , and game theory the mathematical analysis of interdependent decision making.

At the forefront of such developments was the American economist John Roemer. In his first book, Analytical Foundations of Marxian Economic Theory , Roemer sought to reconstruct Marxian economics using the tools of neoclassical economic theory. In his second, A General Theory of Exploitation and Class , he employed game theory to show how the emergence of coalitions of agents, closely resembling Marxian social classes , could be explained by the differential endowment of such agents with productive resources such as labour power or ownership of capital.

Another important contribution to analytical Marxism was made by the Polish American political scientist Adam Przeworski, who used rational-choice theory in his Capitalism and Social Democracy to argue that social democratic parties are fatally driven to compromise in modern liberal democracies: the need to secure a sufficiently broad coalition to achieve electoral success necessitates the dilution of the socialist program.

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Zulular The theory of combined and uneven development a critique. Should Marxists be interested in exploitation? His conclusion was that — contra Cohen — no general theory of history as the development of the productive forces could be saved. The essays discuss a number of the fundamental issues of Marxian thought as well as questions that conventional Marxists see no need to raise. In the traditional Marxist account, exploitation and injustice occur because non-workers appropriate the value produced by the labour of workers. They exemplify the ways in which analytical Marxists are beginning to reinvigorate the Marxian tradition and, in doing so, to break down the barriers that have divided it from other forms of social theory. Among the most methodologically controversial were these two authors, and Roemer, due to their use of rational-actor models.


Analytical Marxism

Origin[ edit ] Analytical Marxism is understood to have originated with the publication of G. The transition from one mode of production to another is driven by the tendency of the productive forces to develop. Cohen accounts for this tendency by reference to the rational character of the human species: where there is the opportunity to adopt a more productive technology and thus reduce the burden of labour, human beings will tend to take it. Thus, human history can be understood as a series of rational steps that increase human productive power.

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