Marx's Scientific Dialectics

A Methodological Treatise for a New Century


While Karl Marx's ideas remain influential in the social sciences, there is considerable disagreement and debate on the methodological principles that inform his work. Marx often aligned himself with both "scientific" and "dialectical" principles, at least once referring to his method as a "scientific dialectic," suggesting he believed dialectical reason could be incorporated into scientific method. By debunking several misconceptions about Marx’s work and examining how he brought scientific methods to bear on his general sociological thinking, his materialist historical perspective, and within his political economy, this book brings new insight to the methodological principles that animate Marx’s writings. What emerges from such a perspective is an approach to sociological inquiry that remains vital and useful for contemporary research on capitalist society and its possible futures.

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Paul B. Paolucci, Ph.D. (2001) in Sociology from the University of Kentucky, is Associate Professor of Sociology at Eastern Kentucky University. He has published articles on dialectical methods, political economy, sociological theory, US foreign policy, humor, and race relations.
The main audience for this book is newcomers to and sceptics about Marx’s thought in general and the idea of dialectical analysis in particular.
Seth Chaiklin, Marx & Philosophy Review of Books, 24 June 2011

Lists, Figures, And Table

Part I Reconsidering Marx
1. Problems Reading Marx
2. Marx And Classical Sociology

Part II Marx And His Scientific Dialectic
3. Marx’s Onto-Epistemological Assumptions
4. Marx’s Analytical Procedures
5. Marx’s Conceptual Doublets
6. Marx’s Models

Part III From Marx’s Science To His Politics
7. From Political Economy To The Communist Project
8. Recovering Marx


All those interested in classical social theory, Marxism, dialectics, sociological method, and the history and possible future of capitalist society.