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Studies in the concept of ideology: from the Hegelian dialectic to western Marxism

MacGregor, David Edward Stephen (1978) Studies in the concept of ideology: from the Hegelian dialectic to western Marxism. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Ideology is interpreted broadly in this study as consciousness, where consciousness is the relation of knowledge to its object. This thesis investigates the connection between Hegel’s theory of consciousness and society and Marx’s political and social thought. It shows that many discoveries, previously considered to be those of Marx alone, like surplus-value and the transition from capitalism to communism, were first developed and employed by Hegel. The study also demonstrates that key concepts, which remain only implicit in Marx, such as social class, alienation, revolutionizing praotice, contradiction and dialectic are given full theoretical form only In the works of Hegel. It examines and shows the strong similarities between Hegel’s and Marx’s theory of religion, capitalism and the state, and stresses that their theory details not the conditions for the emancipation of a class, but rather the liberation and freedom of the social individual. The dissertation explores the writings of the young Marx and Feuerbach and shows that Western Marxism, to its theoretical detriment, owes much more to them than it does to Hegel and the mature Marx. The connection between the philosophies of Kant and Feuerbach and the ideology of contemporary bourgeois society is demonstrated, as is the organic, if antagonistic, unity between the alienated consciousness of Western Marxism and that of its bourgeois opponent. Contemporary Marxist theory is subjected to critical analysis within the framework of a comprehensive account of dialectic method and exposition. The thesis concludes that social thought and political action might be enriched and extended through a new synthesis of Marx with Hegel.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1978 David Edward Stephen MacGregor
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: McRae, Donald G.

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