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Lothar Peter

Alongside the ‘critical theory’ of the Frankfurt School, West Germany was also home to another influential Marxist current known as the Marburg School. In this volume, Marburg disciple Lothar Peter traces the school’s history and situates it in the political discourse and developments of its time. The renowned political scientist Wolfgang Abendroth plays a large role, but unlike most histories of the Marburg School Peter also takes the sociologists Werner Hofmann and Heinz Maus into account as well as their many students and successors. They were united by the conviction that teaching and scholarship must necessarily be tied to the practical goal of transforming society – an approach that met with considerable opposition in the harshly anti-Communist atmosphere of the period.

This book was first published in 2014 as Marx an die Uni. Die "Marburger Schule" – Geschichte, Probleme, Akteure by PapyRossa Verlag, Cologne, ISBN 978-38-94-38546-0. With a new Introduction by Ingar Solty.

How Language Informs Mathematics

Bridging Hegelian Dialectics and Marxian Models

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Dirk Damsma

In How Language Informs Mathematics Dirk Damsma shows how Hegel’s and Marx’s systematic dialectical analysis of mathematical and economic language helps us understand the structure and nature of mathematical and capitalist systems. More importantly, Damsma shows how knowledge of the latter can inform model assumptions and help improve models.

His book provides a blueprint for an approach to economic model building that does away with arbitrarily chosen assumptions and is sensitive to the institutional structures of capitalism. In light of the failure of mainstream economics to understand systemic failures like the financial crisis and given the arbitrary character of most assumptions in mainstream models, such an approach is desperately needed.

Ancient Constitutions and Modern Monarchy

Historical Writing and Enlightened Reform in Denmark-Norway 1730-1814

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Håkon Evju

What was the role of historical thought and historical inquiry in debates over reform during the Enlightenment? In Ancient Constitutions and Modern Monarchy, Håkon Evju addresses this issue by considering the case of eighteenth-century Denmark-Norway. He argues that historians contributed crucially to the rethinking of Dano-Norwegian absolutism in the face of a shift towards commercial society. Their vision of an ancient Nordic constitution helped recast the monarchy as moderate and influenced debates over agricultural improvements in Denmark and Norway. In an innovative comparative analysis, Evju demonstrates how notions of a common political past were used differently in the two kingdoms. Yet in both cases, such appeals to tradition were vital in controversies over monarchical reform politics during the Enlightenment. Håkon Evju, Ph.D. (2014) in History, University of Oslo, is Associate Professor of Intellectual History at that university. He has published numerous articles on different aspects of the Enlightenment in Denmark-Norway.