Download An Introduction to Karl Marx by Jon Elster PDF

By Jon Elster

A concise and accomplished advent to Marx's social, political and monetary inspiration for the start scholar. Jon Elster surveys in flip all the major topics of marxist proposal: technique, alienation, economics, exploitation, ancient materialism, sessions, politics, and beliefs; in a last bankruptcy he assesses 'what resides and what's lifeless within the philosophy of Marx'. The emphasis all through is at the analytical constitution of Marx's arguments and the technique is straight away sympathetic, undogmatic, and rigorous.

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The ideal of self-realization is not compatible with society's coercing people to develop socially valuable talents at the expense of those they want to develop. The reason is that the "self" enters twice into the notion of self-realization. first as the designer and then as the raw material ofthe process. The person is endowed. on the one hand. with certain natural talents and capacities and. on the other hand. with a desire to develop some of them rather than others. The motivation behind self-realization derives from this peculiarly intimate relation.

This belongs to the realm of game theory, as it has somewhat unfortunately come to be known. A better name would have been the theory of interdependent decisions. I shall say more about game theory later. First, however, we may go back to the two filters, to see what alternatives to rational-choice theory might look like. Some would deny that there is more than one filter operating. They would argue that the constraints tend to be so strong as to eliminate all alternatives but one, so that nothing is left for the second filter to operate on.

L Another class of alternatives proposes different mechanisms in the second filter. There are two main contenders. On the one hand, there is the sociological view that men are governed by social norms, roles, habit, or tradition. The view implies that behavior is less sensible to changes in the feasible set than one would expect on the rational-choice approach. Value is attached to specific forms of behavior as such, not only to their outcomes. On the other hand, there is the view that people do not choose what is best, only what in some sense is good enough.

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