• Schiller, Hegel, Marx and the Aesthetic Ideal of Ancient Greece
    Dissertation, University of California, San Diego. 1974.
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    Many people think Marx a totalitarian and Soviet Marxism the predictable outcome of his thought. How might one combat this completely mistaken image? What if one could demonstrate that Western European social democracy represents Marx’s thought far more than did Soviet Marxism? What if one shows that Marx and social democracy are quite compatible? What if one shows that Marx actually supported social democratic parties? If social democracy is closer to being the true face of Marxism after Marx, …Read more
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    The young Marx and Kantian ethics
    Studies in Soviet Thought 31 (4): 277-301. 1986.
    THE YOUNG MARX EMPLOYS A CONCEPT OF ESSENCE WHICH IN MANY WAYS IS LIKE THAT OF ARISTOTLE AND A CONCEPT OF UNIVERSALIZATION MUCH LIKE THAT INVOLVED IN KANT'S CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE. AT THE SAME TIME, MARX'S TASK IS TO RECONCILE THESE ELEMENTS. SINCE OUR ESSENCE IS A SPECIES ESSENCE, TO WORK TO REALIZE THE SPECIES' ESSENCE IS ALSO TO WORK TO SATISFY UNIVERSALIZABLE NEEDS--NEEDS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE.
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    Rousseau, the General Will, and Individual Liberty
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 7 (3). 1990.
    Within Rousseau scholarship there is serious disagreement concerning the correct way to understand Rousseau's social and political thought. For many, Rousseau does not allow for individual liberty, and also, for many, he is a muddled, confused, and inconsistent thinker. I would like to argue that Rousseau does allow for individual liberty and that his major social and political doctrines are much more consistent than is usually thought to be the case. In my view, Rousseau is a very careful think…Read more
  • All three believed that the modern world could be remade according to this model, though none succeeded in his endeavor. At times Schiller seemed to recognize the failure of the model; in his mature writing Hegel dropped the model; and Marx, as he grew older, fundamentally modified the model. Nevertheless, focusing upong their attempts and failures allows an explanation of certain aspects of one of the fundamental concerns of current Marx studies: Marx's humanism and the relationship between his…Read more
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    The young Marx and Kantian ethics
    Studies in East European Thought 31 (4): 104-108. 1986.
    The young marx employs a concept of essence which in many ways is like that of aristotle and a concept of universalization much like that involved in kant's categorical imperative. at the same time, marx's task is to reconcile these elements. since our essence is a species essence, to work to realize the species' essence is also to work to satisfy universalizable needs--needs in accordance with the categorical imperative
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    This article examines Hegel's treatment of self-consciousness in light of the contemporary problem of the other. It argues that Hegel tries to subvert the Kantian opposition between theoretical and practical reason and tries to establish a form of idealism that can avoid solipsism. All of this requires that Hegel get beyond the Kantian concept of the object - or the other. Hegel attempts to establish an other that is not marginalized, dominated, or negated. What he gives us is a valuable alterna…Read more
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    Niccolò Machiavelli --- Adviser of Princes
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1): 33-55. 1995.
    Machiavelli's advice to the prince is to avoid self-interest and to work for the good of the state. This is not to say, however, that Machiavelli does not counsel evil. To achieve the good, one must do evil. It is necessary. But it is still evil. Machiavelli is not a utilitarian or a moral consequentialist in ethics. If an action has certain desirable consequences, it may be politically necessary to perform that action. But that does not make the action moral. If it is evil, it remains e…Read more
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    Nietzsche, the Kantian Self, and Eternal Recurrence
    Idealistic Studies 34 (3): 225-238. 2004.
    Nietzsche’s concept of the self grows out of Kant—and then attempts to subvert Kant. Nietzsche agrees that a unified subject is a necessary presupposition for ordered experience to be possible. But instead of a Kantian unified self, Nietzsche develops a conception of the self of the sort that we have come to call postmodern. He posits a composite bundle of drives that become unified only through organization. This subject is unified, it is just that its unity is forged, constructed, brought abou…Read more
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    Nietzsche and the Horror of Existence
    Lexington Books. 2009.
    Nietzsche believed in the horror of existence: a world filled with meaningless suffering_suffering for no reason at all. He also believed in eternal recurrence, the view that that our lives will repeat infinitely, and that in each life every detail will be exactly the same. Furthermore, it was not enough for Nietzsche that eternal recurrence simply be accepted_he demanded that it be loved. Thus the philosopher who introduces eternal recurrence is the very same philosopher who also believes in th…Read more
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    Niccolò Machiavelli --- Adviser of Princes
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1): 33-55. 1995.
    Machiavelli's advice to the prince is to avoid self-interest and to work for the good of the state. This is not to say, however, that Machiavelli does not counsel evil. To achieve the good, one must do evil. It is necessary. But it is still evil. Machiavelli is not a utilitarian or a moral consequentialist in ethics. If an action has certain desirable consequences, it may be politically necessary to perform that action. But that does not make the action moral. If it is evil, it remains evil. Yet…Read more
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    Marx, justice, and the dialectic method
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 24 (4): 523-546. 1986.
    A CAREFUL STUDY OF MARX'S METHOD IN THE "GRUNDRISSE" WILL SHOW THAT MARX OPERATES WITH A DISTINCTION BETWEEN ESSENCE AND APPEARANCE AND ALSO THAT, FOR MARX, CAPITALIST SOCIETY IS JUST, BUT, CONTRARY TO THE VIEWS OF ALLEN WOOD, ONLY AT THE LEVEL OF SURFACE APPEARANCE. CAPITALIST SOCIETY IS ALSO UNJUST, BUT, UNLIKE THE VIEWS OF Z I HUSAMI, ONLY AT THE LEVEL OF ESSENCE--SOMETHING DISCOVERED BY SCIENCE WHICH GOES BEHIND SURFACE.
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    Nietzsche, Truth, and the Horror of Existence
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 23 (1). 2006.
    Some argue that for Nietzsche there are truths and that knowledge of them is possible and desirable. Others think that Nietzsche rejects the possibility of truth and that this gives rise to problems of self-contradiction. I argue that there is truth for Nietzsche. The truth is that existence is horrible. Truth exists. We can know this truth. But it would likely mean our annihilation. Thus, truth must be avoided -- which is different from, despite the fact that it will often appear the same as, c…Read more
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    Nietzschean Genealogy and Hegelian History in The Genealogy of Morals
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (1): 123-147. 1996.
    I would like to offer an interpretation of the Genealogy of Morals, of the relationship of master morality to slave morality, and of Nietzsche's philosophy of history that is different from the interpretation that is normally offered by Nietzsche scholars. Contrary to Nehamas, Deleuze, Danto, and many others, I wish to argue that Nietzsche does not simply embrace master morality and spurn slave morality.1 I also wish to reject the view, considered simply obvious by most scholars, that the iiberm…Read more
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    Niccolò Machiavelli: Adviser of Princes
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1). 1995.
    Machiavelli's advice to the prince is to avoid self-interest and to work for the good of the state. This is not to say, however, that Machiavelli does not counsel evil. To achieve the good, one must do evil. It is necessary. But it is still evil. Machiavelli is not a utilitarian or a moral consequentialist in ethics. If an action has certain desirable consequences, it may be politically necessary to perform that action. But that does not make the action moral. If it is evil, it remains e…Read more
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    Modern feminism and Marx
    Studies in Soviet Thought 44 (3): 159-192. 1992.
    Marx has been criticized by feminists for many reasons, much of it based upon a misunderstanding of Marx. Many feminists take Marx's view to be that the family, gendered division of labor, and male domination are determined by either purely economic factors of natural biological factors. I try to show that Marx holds neither of these views. I also try to show that reproduction and the oppression of women that arises from men's control of private property, which are often claimed to be matters of…Read more
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    Nietzsche, virtue and the horror of existence
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (1). 2009.
    The article focuses on philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's commitment to a virtue ethic and his belief in the horror of existence. It talks about the Nietzsche view on the need to construct a meaning for suffering in order to obscure the meaninglessness of existence. The philosophical implications that follow from the horror of existence and the need for virtue to be compatible with happiness are discussed. The article also explores the need for power to create and maintain illusions related to vi…Read more
  • M Westphal's Hegel, Freedom And Modernity (review)
    Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 27 73-76. 1993.
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    Nietzsche, Skepticism, and Eternal Recurrence
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 13 (3). 1983.
    FOR NIETZSCHE, THERE IS NO TRUTH. WHAT THEN ARE WE TO SAY OF HIS DOCTRINES OF WILL TO POWER AND ETERNAL RECURRENCE WHICH SEEM TO BE HELD AS TRUTHS? THEY TOO ARE ILLUSIONS. BUT, IF SO, HOW CAN ONE HOLD THAT THESE ILLUSIONS ARE TO BE PREFERRED TO OTHER ILLUSIONS? BECAUSE THE HIGHEST STATE IS TO BE THE SOURCE OF ALL VALUE AND MEANING ONESELF WITHOUT RELYING ON AN INDEPENDENT STANDARD OF TRUTH.
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    Nietzsche, Eternal Recurrence, and the Horror of Existence
    Journal of Nietzsche Studies 33 (1): 49-63. 2007.
    Nietzsche believed in the horror of existence—in a world filled with meaningless suffering. He also believed in eternal recurrence—that our lives will repeat infinitely and that in each life every detail will be exactly the same. Furthermore, it was not enough that eternal recurrence simply be accepted—Nietzsche demanded that it be loved. Thus the philosopher who introduces eternal recurrence is the very same philosopher who also believes in the horror of existence—a paradox that is completel…Read more
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    Philip J. Kain deftly demonstrates the historical antecedents to and continuing relevance of Karl Marx's thought. Kain reveals the unappreciated pluralism of Marx, how it has endured and how it will continue to adapt to the challenges of modern day thought such as feminist theory.
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    Marx, Engels, and dialectics
    Studies in Soviet Thought 23 (4): 271-283. 1982.
    In his very influential book, History and Class Consciousness, Lukács argued that Engels illegitimately extended Marx's dialectical method beyond the social realm to the realm of nature and in doing so replaced Marx's dialectical theory of knowledge (in which subject and object are reciprocally trans formed) with a contemplative reflection theory (in which subject and object "persist in their old, rigid opposition").1 Since then, and very much in the same spirit, many others have located the dif…Read more
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    Marx and the abolition of morality
    Journal of Value Inquiry 18 (4): 283-297. 1984.
    MARX'S VIEWS ON MORALITY DO NOT REMAIN THE SAME THROUGHOUT ALL PERIODS OF HIS THOUGHT. THIS ARTICLE EXAMINES HIS VIEWS ONLY IN THE PERIOD OF 1845-1857. IT TRIES TO SHOW THAT ESPECIALLY IN THE "GERMAN IDEALOGY" MARX DEVELOPS A DOCTRINE OF HISTORICAL MATERIALISM ACCORDING TO WHICH MATERIAL CONDITIONS DETERMINE CONSCIOUSNESS IN SUCH A STRICT WAY THAT MORAL OBLIGATION INDEPENDENT OF THOSE CONDITIONS IS IMPOSSIBLE. MORALITY, FOR MARX, IS IDEOLOGICAL ILLUSION DESTINED TO DISAPPEAR IN COMMUNIST SOCIETY…Read more
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    Marx, Housework, and Alienation
    Hypatia 8 (1). 1993.
    For different feminist theorists, housework and child rearing are viewed in very different ways. I argue that Marx gives us the categories that allow us to see why housework and child care can be both a paradigm of unalienated labor and also involve the greatest oppression. In developing this argument, a distinction is made between alienation and oppression and the conditions are discussed under which unalienated housework can become oppressive or can become alienated.
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    Marx and ethics
    Oxford University Press. 1988.
    This book traces the development of Marx's ethics as they underwent various shifts and changes during different periods of his thought. In his early writings, his ethics were based on a concept of essence much like Aristotle's, which Marx tried to link to a principle of universalization similar to Kant's "categorical imperative." In the period 1845-46, Marx abandoned this view, holding morality to be incompatible with his historical materialism. In the later work he was less of a determinist. Th…Read more
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    Hegel, Reason, and Idealism
    Idealistic Studies 27 (1-2): 97-112. 1997.
    One of Hegel's major concerns is to decide the place, importance, and scope of reason. Grand claims have traditionally been made on its behalf--that it is the highest form of knowledge capable of knowing all that can be known. This article examines the central role that theoretical reason plays, for Hegel, in leading us toward idealism, its failure to live up to its grand claims, its failure to adequately establish idealism, and the way in which this failure, oddly enough, turns into a success b…Read more
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    Estrangement and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
    Political Theory 7 (4): 509-520. 1979.
    THE FIRST STAGE OF COMMUNISM, FOR MARX, IS A MODIFIED EXCHANGE ECONOMY. THUS IT SHOULD BE MARKED BY ALIENATION OR FETISHISM. BUT MARX DENIES THIS IN CHAPTER 1 OF VOLUME I OF "CAPITAL". THE REASON BEING THAT THE WORKERS WOULD BE IN CONTROL OF THEIR EXCHANGE RATHER THAN CONTROLLED BY IT. IN EARLIER WRITINGS, THIS CONTROL SEEMED TO REQUIRE A POWERFUL STATE APPARATUS, AND THUS POLITICAL ESTRANGEMENT. IN SOME, BUT NOT ALL, OF HIS LATER WRITINGS, MARX ARGUES THAT SUCH A STATE APPARATUS WOULD NOT BE NE…Read more