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Paul Paolucci

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Paul Paolucci

Many scholars see science and politics as mutually exclusive realms, where the latter's influence contaminates former's purity. Karl Marx's critics often interpret him within this framework, where his value-laden judgments render his analysis of capitalism moot. Though defenders argue that Marx rejects an objective-subjective dichotomy, this book offers a different interpretation. Through the method of critique Marx examines problems and biases in putatively neutral forms of scientific knowledge, specifically models that fail to capture the relations of power and knowledge dominant in capitalist society. By incorporating these relations into his abstractions and tracing their historical movement, Marx's corrective to malformed approaches to scientific knowledge more readily lays bare capitalist society’s exploitative and distortive nature. This book demonstrates these principles and applies them to conventional sociological methods, theories of religion, and class analysis.
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Marx's Scientific Dialectics

A Methodological Treatise for a New Century

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Paul B. Paolucci

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.