© 1988

Marx’ Critique of Science and Positivism

The Methodological Foundations of Political Economy


Part of the Sovietica book series (SOVA, volume 53)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction

    1. George E. McCarthy
      Pages 1-18
  3. 18th- and 19th-Century German Philosophy: Epistemology and Metaphysics

  4. Epistemology and Method in Marx’ Later Works

  5. Meta-Critique and Political Economy: Marx’ Legacy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 188-225

About this book


political economy. With this in mind the reader will be taken through three meta-theoretical levels of Marx' method of analysis of the struc­ tures of capitalism: (1) the clarification of 'critique' and method from Kant's epistemology, Hegel's phenomenology, to Marx' political economy (Chapter One); (2) the analysis of 'critique' and time, that is, the temporal dimensions of the critical method as they evolve from Hegel's Logic to Marx' Capital and the difference between the use of the future in explanatory, positivist science and 'critique' (Chapter Two); (3) and finally, 'critique' and materialism, a study of the complexity of the category of materialism, the ambivalence and ambiguity of its use in Marx' critical method, and the ontological and logical dilemmas created by the Schelling-Feuerbach turn toward materialism in their critique of Hegel (Chapter Three). The critique of political economy is, therefore, examined at the levels of methodology, temporality, and ontology. To what do the categories of political economy really refer when the positivist interpretations of Marx have been shattered and 'critique' be­ comes the method of choice? What kind of knowledge do we have if it is no longer "scientific" in the traditional sense of both epistemology and methodology? And what kind of applicability will it have when its format is such as not to produce predictive, technical knowledge, but practical knowledge in the Greek sense of the word (Praxis)? What be­ comes of the criterion of truth when epistemology itself, like science, is


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Immanuel Kant Jürgen Habermas Karl Marx Marx historical materialism logic political economy social theory

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Kenyon CollegeGambierUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Marx’ Critique of Science and Positivism
  • Book Subtitle The Methodological Foundations of Political Economy
  • Authors G. McCarthy
  • Series Title Sovietica
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1988
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-277-2702-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-010-7825-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-009-2945-6
  • Series ISSN 0561-2551
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 226
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Political Philosophy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site