Economics and Philosophy

Essays

Methodological Individualism and Marxism

Julius Sensata1

a1 University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Recent years have witnessed an increasing number of attempts to reconstruct Marxian theory in forms that can be assessed by reference to currently received standards in various disciplines (economics and “analytic” philosophy, for example). The work has even been said to establish a new paradigm: “analytical Marxism.” One doesn't have to endorse this claim to recognize a good deal of merit in the work. Through creative application of state-of-the-art methods to traditional Marxian issues, researchers have promoted productive cross-fertilization with non-Marxian programs and have revealed many problems that must be resolved for fruitful development of Marxian theory. Marx's work can be relevant to today's problems only if it is examined from vantage points provided by subsequent scientific and philosophical achievements. Moreover, critical engagement with the best science of the day has been an essential part of the Marxian theoretical project from the beginning.