The Lives of Marx: Hägglund and Marx’s Philosophy after Pippin and Postone

In: Historical Materialism
Michael Lazarus School of Social Sciences, Monash University Melbourne Australia

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To make ‘philosophy worldly’ often requires an act of translation. In This Life, Martin Hägglund argues for the relevance of Marx to our contemporary lives. By way of a lively and sophisticated dialogue between philosophical interlocutors – including Hegel and Marx – Hägglund offers a compelling account of the relation between time, value and freedom. This Life translates current issues in academic philosophy into a popular register that does not reduce the complexity of the issues but shows what is at stake for our own lives. Hägglund provides a synthesis of Robert B. Pippin’s normative reading of Hegel and the value-form critical theory of Moishe Postone’s Marxism. Further, Hägglund’s vision of freedom outflanks the political limitations of Pippin’s Hegel and Postone’s Marx while retaining the power of their analyses. I assess his interpretation of Hegel and critically examine the concept of value operative in This Life, and frame this question in terms of value-form theory.

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