Karl Marx - Karl Marx Theory: An analysis of inequality...

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Karl Marx Theory: An analysis of inequality under capitalism and how to change it The Dialectic Centrality of Conviction Philosophy that contradictions exist in reality and that the most appropriate way to understand  reality is to study the development of those contradictions.  o I.e. Hegel used the idea of contradiction to understand historical change. Historical change is  driven by contradictory understandings that are the essence of reality, our attempts to resolve  contradictions, the new contradictions that develop. One of the contradictions within capitalism is the relationship btw the workers and the capitalists  who own the factories and other means of production with which the work is done. o The Dialectical Method of Analysis (focus on real existing contradictions led to a particular  method for studying social phenomena) Social values are not separable from social facts/ facts and values are intertwined  Doesn’t see a simple, one-way, cause and effect relationship among various parts of  the social world. Concerned with studying the historical roots of the contemporary world and are  attuned to current social trends in order to understand the possible future directions  of society.  No inevitabilities- interested in the study of real relationships rather than grand  abstractions. Study relationship btw actors and social structures (interplay of levels of social  analysis) Human Nature Marx’s critical analysis is on human nature, its relation to labor and its potential for alienation  under capitalism. Believed there was a real contradiction btw our H. nature and the way that we  must work in capitalist society.  “Human beings are an ensemble of social relations”- human nature is not a static thing but varies  historically and socially. To understand human nature we must understand social history- b/c human nature is shaped by  the same dialectical contradictions that Marx believes shapes the history of society.
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Species Being- potential/powers unique to humans and that distinguish humans from other  species o What distinguishes us from other animals is labor---  Labor- all productive actions in which 
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course SOC 213 taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '08 term at Southwestern.

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Karl Marx - Karl Marx Theory: An analysis of inequality...

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