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books about Dialectical materialism
Adventures of the Dialectic
Northwestern University Press, 1973
Library of Congress B809.8.M4413 | Dewey Decimal 335.411
"We need a philosophy of both history and spirit to deal with the problems we touch upon here. Yet we would be unduly rigorous if we were to wait for perfectly elaborated principles before speaking philosophically of politics." Thus Merleau-Ponty introduces Adventures of the Dialectic, his study of Marxist philosophy and thought. In this study, containing chapters on Weber, Lukacs, Lenin, Sartre, and Marx himself, Merleau-Ponty investigates and attempts to go beyond the dialectic.
Culture and Practical Reason
University of Chicago Press, 1978
Library of Congress GN345.S24 | Dewey Decimal 301.2
"The main thrust of this book is to deliver a major critique of materialist and rationalist explanations of social and cultural forms, but the in the process Sahlins has given us a much stronger statement of the centrality of symbols in human affairs than have many of our 'practicing' symbolic anthropologists. He demonstrates that symbols enter all phases of social life: those which we tend to regard as strictly pragmatic, or based on concerns with material need or advantage, as well as those which we tend to view as purely symbolic, such as ideology, ritual, myth, moral codes, and the like. . . ."—Robert McKinley, Reviews in Anthropology
Dance of the Dialectic: STEPS IN MARX'S METHOD
University of Illinois Press, 2003
Library of Congress HX39.5.O55 2003 | Dewey Decimal 335.411
Bertell Ollman has been hailed as "this country's leading authority on dialectics and Marx's method" by Paul Sweezy, the editor of Monthly Review and dean of America's Marx scholars. In this book Ollman offers a thorough analysis of Marx's use of dialectical method.
Marx made extremely creative use of dialectical method to analyze the origins, operation, and direction of capitalism. Unfortunately, his promised book on method was never written, so that readers wishing to understand and evaluate Marx's theories, or to revise or use them, have had to proceed without a clear grasp of the dialectic in which the theories are framed. The result has been more disagreement over "what Marx really meant" than over the writings of any other major thinker.
In putting Marx's philosophy of internal relations and his use of the process of abstraction--two little-studied aspects of dialectics--at the center of this account, Ollman provides a version of Marx's method that is at once systematic, scholarly, clear and eminently useful.
Ollman not only sheds important new light on what Marx really meant in his varied theoretical pronouncements, but in carefully laying out the steps in Marx's method makes it possible for a reader to put the dialectic to work in his or her own research. He also convincingly argues the case for why social scientists and humanists as well as philosophers should want to do so.
University of Minnesota Press, 2009
Library of Congress B809.8.L3413 2009 | Dewey Decimal 146.32
With the aim of widening the scope of Marxist theory, Henri Lefebvre finished Dialectical Materialism just before the beginning of World War II and the Resistance movement against the Vichy regime. As the culmination of Lefebvre’s interwar activities, the book highlights the tension-fraught relationship between Lefebvre and the French Communist Party (PCF). For Lefebvre, unlike for the PCF, Marxism was above all a dynamic movement of theory and practice. Dialectical Materialism is an implicit response to Joseph Stalin’s Dialectical and Historical Materialism and an attempt to show that the Stalinist understanding of the concept was dogmatic and oversimplified.
This edition contains a new introduction by Stefan Kipfer, explaining the book’s contemporary ramifications in the ever-expanding reach of the urban in the twentieth-century Western world.
History & Subjectivity
Temple University Press, 1987
Library of Congress JA74.G68 1987 | Dewey Decimal 335.4
"...rescues the probing spirit of Marx from the dead hand of Marx-ism. In this bold and argumentative book, Gottlieb joins other contemporary theorists in challenging the primacy of class and relations of production as keys to understanding our collective predicament. The result is an important contribution to left theory- both for its summation of the insights drawn from recent movements and for its provocative confrontation with the wisdom of the past."
Can Marxism still serve the American left? History and Subjectivity answers this question by synthesizing the conflicting perspectives of traditional Marxism, Western and neo-Marxism, socialist-feminism, and various minority political movements into a comprehensive and original social theory.
In the last seventy years, social change and the failure of leftist movements have made it necessary to transform Marxist theory. Undermined by its own theoretical success, traditional Marxism mistakenly assumed that Marx's understanding of competitive capitalism could be the model for theories of any society. Roger Gottlieb argues convincingly that the transformation of Marxist theory requires a fundamentally new understanding of social primacy.
Gottlieb draws on resources from virtually all areas of contemporary radical social theory. This interdisciplinary approach results in a sweeping synthesis of existing Marxist thought and an original and compelling social theory.
"Roger Gottlieb has written a very rich and often brilliant book.... [His] general thesis is developed, argued, and tested in the course of an impressive series of reconsiderations of debates in the Marxist tradition--impressive for the sheer breadth of the material mastered, as well as the critical acumen with which Gottlieb finds his way through the thicket of arguments and counter arguments. The result is an always lively, frequently exciting journey through the Marxist tradition, as well as a major contribution to the transformation which Marxism is currently undergoing."
"This is a serious and ambitious book. Its attempt to incorporate socialist feminism, and its interesting discussion of the American left are major strengths. It is a distinctive argument, framed within a personal sensibility, which should encourage wide response."
--Marx W. Wartofsky
Jameson on Jameson: Conversations on Cultural Marxism
Duke University Press, 2007
Library of Congress HM471.J35 2007 | Dewey Decimal 301.01
Fredric Jameson is one of the most influential literary and cultural critics writing today. He is a theoretical innovator whose ideas about the intersections of politics and culture have reshaped the critical landscape across the humanities and social sciences. Bringing together ten interviews conducted between 1982 and 2005, Jameson on Jameson
is a compellingly candid introduction to his thought for those new to it, and a rich source of illumination and clarification for those seeking deeper understanding. Jameson discusses his intellectual and political preoccupations, most prominently his commitment to Marxism as a way of critiquing capitalism and the culture it has engendered. He explains many of his key concepts, including postmodernism, the dialectic, metacommentary, the political unconscious, the utopian, cognitive mapping, and spatialization.
Jameson on Jameson displays Jameson’s extraordinary grasp of contemporary culture—architecture, art, cinema, literature, philosophy, politics, psychoanalysis, and urban geography—as well as the challenge that the geographic reach of his thinking poses to the Eurocentricity of the West. Conducted by accomplished scholars from United States, Egypt, Korea, China, Sweden, and England, the interviews elicit Jameson’s reflections on the broad international significance of his ideas and their applicability and implications in different cultural and political contexts, including the present phase of globalization.
The volume includes an introduction by Jameson and a comprehensive bibliography of his publications in all languages.
Marxism and the Philosophy of Language
V. N. Vološinov
Harvard University Press, 1986
Library of Congress B809.8.V59413 1986 | Dewey Decimal 401
V. N. Vološinov’s important work, first published in Russian in 1929, had to wait a generation for recognition. This first paperback edition of the English translation will be capital for literary theorists, philosophers, linguists, psychologists, and many others.
Vološinov is out to undo the old disciplinary boundaries between linguistics, rhetoric, and poetics in order to construct a new kind of field: semiotics or textual theory. Ladislav Matejka and I. R. Titunik have provided a new preface to discuss Vološinov in relation to the great resurgence of interest in all the writing of the circle of Mikhail Bakhtin.
Periodizing Jameson: Dialectics, the University, and the Desire for Narrative
Phillip E. Wegner
Northwestern University Press, 2014
Library of Congress PN75.J36W44 2014 | Dewey Decimal 801.95092
For a half century, the American intellectual Fredric Jameson has been a driving force in literary and cultural theory. In Periodizing Jameson, Phillip E. Wegner builds upon Jameson’s unique dialectical method to demonstrate the value of Jameson’s tools—periodization, the fourfold hermeneutic, and the Greimasian semiotic square, among others—and to develop virtuoso readings of Jameson’s own work and the history of the contemporary American university in which it unfolds.
Wegner shows how Jameson’s work intervenes in particular social, cultural, and political situations, using his scholarship both to develop original explorations of nineteenth-century fiction, popular films, and other promiment theorists, and to examine the changing fortunes of theory itself. In this way, Periodizing Jameson casts new light on the potential of and challenges to humanist intellectual work in the present.
Subject Lessons: Hegel, Lacan, and the Future of Materialism
Edited by Russell Sbriglia and Slavoj Zizek
Northwestern University Press, 2020
Library of Congress B825.S879 2020 | Dewey Decimal 146.3
Responding to the ongoing “objectal turn” in contemporary humanities and social sciences, the essays in Subject Lessons present a sustained case for the continued importance— indeed, the indispensability—of the category of the subject for the future of materialist thought.
Approaching matters through the frame of Hegel and Lacan, the contributors to this volume, including the editors, as well as Andrew Cole, Mladen Dolar, Nathan Gorelick, Adrian Johnston, Todd McGowan, Borna Radnik, Molly Anne Rothenberg, Kathryn Van Wert, and Alenka Zupančič—many of whom stand at the forefront of contemporary Hegel and Lacan scholarship—agree with neovitalist thinkers that material reality is ontologically incomplete, in a state of perpetual becoming, yet they maintain that this is the case not in spite of but, rather, because of the subject.
Incorporating elements of philosophy, psychoanalysis, and literary and cultural studies, Subject Lessons contests the movement to dismiss the subject, arguing that there can be no truly robust materialism without accounting for the little piece of the Real that is the subject.