Editorial Introduction to Vittorio Morfino

In: Historical Materialism

Abstract

Reading 'Capital''s promotion of the Spinozist sources of Marxism has stimulated a series of important studies in several major zones of Marxist theoretical work. A more general reassessment of Spinoza's thought in the project of a 'radical Enlightenement' provides the opportunity to consider critically the contribution of these studies to the elaboration of Marxist political theory. Vittorio Morfino, well known Italian scholar of Spinoza and Althusser, proposes to study Engels's reading of Spinoza in the context of the inheritance of classical German idealism in the Marxist theory of history. He argues that Spinoza provides resources for rethinking Marxist notions of temporality and structure. The result is a theory of conjunctural analysis, in distinction from 'normative' and 'prescriptive' perspectives.

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