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The Philosophy of Marx

A rich and accessible introduction to Marx’s fundamental concepts from a key intellectual—now updated

Written by one of political theory’s leading thinkers, The Philosophy of Marx examines all the key areas of Marx’s writings in their wider historical and theoretical context—including the concepts of class struggle, ideology, humanism, progress, determinism, commodity fetishism, and the state. Etienne Balibar opens a gateway into the thought of one of history’s great minds.

In this updated edition to this now classic work, Balibar has added a substantial introduction and new material. Complete with key “information boxes” for the student to make the most challenging areas of theory easy to understand, this remains the best available introduction to the most important thinker of the past 200 years.

Reviews

  • “A very intelligent and creative work—succinct and informative; it explores the ways in which Marxism as such challenges traditional philosophy (and the problems the latter possesses for it). It should certainly have a privileged place on the shelf of contemporary studies of Marx.”
  • “A trenchant and exciting analysis of the philosophy of Marx. It is intelligent and original, and makes us understand the ways in which reading Marx lucidly can be very useful to us today. No dogma here and no banalities. A refreshing book.”
  • “This short book manages to be both a unexcelled introduction to Marx and, for those familiar with the texts, a sophisticated and suggestive commentary.”

Blog

  • Translation and Conflict: The Violence of the Universal — a conversation with Étienne Balibar

    Jean Birnbaum's interview with Étienne Balibar about his new book Des Universals was first published in Le Monde. Translated by David Broder. 



    You recently published a book on the question of the universal (Des Universals, Paris: Galilée, 2016). This notion, which seems so familiar, however often remains rather unclear. If you had to give a definition to a class of 17 year olds, what would you say?

    I would say that it is a value that designates the possibility of being equal without necessarily being the same, and thus of being citizens without having to be culturally identical.

    Indeed, in our era universalism is often associated with consensus, and first of all with a bien pensant Left, presumed to be weak and naïve… Yet in your view universalism is anything but an idealism.

    First of all, my objective is not to uphold a "left-wing position," but to debate universalism as a philosophical question. Of course, I am on the Left, but the Left itself is is traversed by all the conflicts inherent to the question of the universal. The universal does not bring people together, it divides them. Violence is a constant possibility. But I first of all seek to describe internal conflicts.

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  • Etienne Balibar - From Althusserian Marxism to the Philosophies of Marx? Twenty Years After

    Etienne Balibar's short book, The Philosophy of Marx, has rightly become the classic introduction to Marx's work since its first publication in English in 1994. Covering the entire range of Marx's writings, from his early philosophical writings to Capital and his later work, The Philosophy of Marx is not only a clear and concise guide to Marx but places his writing in its theoretical and historical context.



    The new edition of The Philosophy of Marx is substantially updated, with a two substantial new essays which examine Marx's philosophy (one covering his Theses on Feuerbach, the second on Marx and politics), as well as a new introduction, reproduced below. In it, Balibar discusses the genesis of the book, his relationship to Althusser's philosophical reading of Marx, and the problems of a Marxist philosophy.

    For this week only, and to celebrate the publication of the new and substantially updated edition of Etienne Balibar's now classic introductory text, we have 40% off our entire list of Karl Marx primers. To see the full list click here.

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  • New Year, New Chance to Read Marx

    It's time to make resolutions for the year to come! With the rise of the far-right, global economic instability, the looming threat of catastrophic climate change, capitalism run wild - the time has never been more ripe to brush up on your Karl Marx. 

    For this week only, and to celebrate the publication of the new and substantially updated edition of Etienne Balibar's now classic introductory text The Philosophy of Marx, we have 40% off our entire list of Karl Marx primers.

    All titles below are 40% off until Sunday, January 15th, at midnight UTC. Includes free ebooks where available and free worldwide shipping.



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