Callinicos’s Marxism and Philosophy

Marxism and PhilosophyMarxism and Philosophy by Alex Callinicos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Something more than an introduction, this little book gives a cursory summary of the field at the time it was written – the 1980s. Still, it’s a pretty good little text, starting with modern philosophy before Marx — Kant, Descartes, Hegel, etc — and ending with debates as they were in the 80s. Hegelian Marxists will probably find it too Althusserian, Althusserians too orthodox, but his short engagements — with language, ideology, science — are useful, even when you might not agree with him. There’s also much to agree with, including his take on science, ideology, and some of his reading of Marx. Probably the most anomalous and uninteresting sections are those on English and analytic philosophers. A book like this would now have to deal with Badiou (a kind of modern-day Althusser) and Zizek (probably the dominant Hegelian philosopher). Still, I’d recommend it as a good place to go one step beyond an introduction. A decent little book. 3.5 stars.

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