Can Marx's Theory Of History Be Truly Scientific?

2959 words - 12 pages

Karl Marx is one of the most influential figures in history. Since his death and the widespread distribution of his works, his legacy has affected almost everybody alive on the planet today. He has had a huge influence on the arts: Literature, art, theatre, film and even music. Peter Singer, in his book about Marx likened his impact on the world to that of Jesus or Mohammed. His biggest influence, however, has been on the world of politics. One very small example of this could be the Welfare State which exists in the UK; we owe the idea such institutions as pensions, free education, health care and social security benefits to Marx. If he didn't suggest these institutions directly, his writings have affected their emergence in some way.

The first question is why do we need to know if Marx's theory is scientific or not? In today's context, science is important. It seems like every human progression made, is now has a basis in science and technology. We tend to find facts more believable if we hear at the beginning "recent studies have shown that..." Although Marx strove for scientific standards he wrote in a time when science wasn't as strictly definable as it is today. Therefore, I would argue firstly that to see Marx's theory of history in terms of science is wrong. The title asks: can it be scientific, my personal opinion is that we should not try to bring the theory into the modern day by asking if it is scientific. Marx used his theory to argue certain points about capitalism, (I will mention more about this later) science doesn't set out to do this. Granted, its results can be interpreted to argue a point, but normally science is used to discover more about the world surrounding us.

Despite my own opinions, I shall look at Marx's theory in terms of how scientific it is and about the possibility of it being made scientific in the future.

I will draw upon the work of other philosophers to try and establish what makes a science and then see how Marx's theory fits in with these ideas.

The debate of whether or not Marx is a scientist is an important factor in how reliable some people view his works. As I have just mentioned, today we tend to see science as the main area of discovery. We believe what scientific studies tell us because things can be proved. E.g. If I assert that drug A cures this disease. We give 100 patients the drug; if they are all cured we prove our hypothesis. We believe things that we see, this is how we have come to view science as so important.

There are many definitions of what makes something scientific; many people have tried to write about it. According to the Collins English Dictionary, something is a science when a systematic study gives knowledge of natural or physical phenomena.

To see or not if Marx's theory is or can be scientific we need to look at, firstly at a fuller definition of science, and then at how much scientific method Marx used to formulate his study.

Karl Popper provided one of...

Find Another Essay On Can Marx's Theory of History Be Truly Scientific?

Karl Marx's Theory of Surplus Labour

1369 words - 5 pages Karl Marx's Theory of Surplus Labour For Marx surplus labour is the extra labour produced by a worker for his employer, to be put towards capital accumulation. The worker must do this work to keep his job but otherwise gains nothing by it. By helping the accumulation of capital he contributes to the cycle of mechanization and division of labour, which allow for fewer workers to do more work, thus adding to the competition between workers

Happiness: Can it be Truly Achieved With Money?

1644 words - 7 pages richer people tending to be a lot happier than the poor, what makes him think that? Why are they a lot happier than poorer people, even though everyone says that money can never buy you happiness? Well as I said, and so has Arthur C. Brooks, money alone cannot buy happiness, or better yet, if you strike sudden wealth all of a sudden, you will never be truly happy. Previously on this paper, I talked about how Mack Metcalf won the lottery and

An Account Of Karl Marx's Theory of Alienation

1465 words - 6 pages for money gains. We can see this in examples like the Nike sweatshops in Asia, where human beings are mere pawns in the overall production process. Marx's theory of alienation still certainly strikes a chord in such circumstances today. I think it is a credit to Marx and this theory that, even though it was published at a very different era than that which we live in today, still the core concepts of this theory hold firm today. It is common today

The Refrigerator and Marx's theory of Commodification and Alienation

2131 words - 9 pages Refrigeration and freezing are two of the most common forms of food preservation used today. Virtually, in the kitchen of every home of the developed world, there is a refrigerator of one kind or another. This technological invention has become an irreplaceable and indispensable part of our life, which we take for granted.In this essay I will focus on the fridge freezer within its social and economic environment based on Karl Marx's theory of

Karl Marx's Contribution to Labor Theory of Value

1263 words - 5 pages Contrary to popular belief, the origin of the Labor Theory of Value (LTV), which states that the value of a commodity is proportional to the amount of labor consumed to produce it, is not attributable to Karl Marx. While this may be true, the LTV is most familiar to economists as the cornerstone of Marx’s argument against capitalism in Capital. In studying Marxism, it is important to understand the degree to which Marx expounded upon the

Did duhem show that scientific theories can be ne

1831 words - 7 pages The question as to whether scientific theories can be shown to be true or false is a complex one. The answer depends on one's interpretation of the meaning of theory. To what does it refer? Is its role to reveal the nature of reality, or is it merely a human construct? In which case what do we mean by truth? Is it an accurate description of reality, or does it simply refer to a successful theory that produces accurate predictions? Duhem attacks


1799 words - 8 pages birth to the philosophy of science (Okasha, 2002). Several perspectives of scientific theories have been postulated by many on the history and philosophy of science. One of such is the Kuhn theory of science development postulated by Thomas Kuhn. His theory brought about a new perspective where scientific theories are placed in an umbrella of a grand theory called the paradigm. Thomas Kuhn who was born in 1922 in Cincinnati, studied physics at

Evaluate Kuhn’s theory of scientific development

1541 words - 7 pages to be understood ( Kuhn stated that a paradigm is a very important aspect to scientific inquiry, for "no natural history can be interpreted in the absence of at least some implicit body of intertwined theoretical and methodological belief that permits selection, evaluation, and criticism"(Kuhn 1996). However, a paradigm guides the investigation and research efforts of many scientists, and it is

Charles Darwin's Scientific Theory of Evolution

1485 words - 6 pages Conor McAvoy Professor A.J. Rocke HSTY 202 25 March 2014 Charles Darwin is well-known for his groundbreaking work on evolutionary biology. Among his many contributions, The Origin of Species is the most associated with his name. He introduces the scientific theory of evolution and suggests that species have evolved over a period of many generations through a process called natural selection. Darwin's theories have created much controversy among

Discuss the extent to which trade theory can be used to explain the competitiveness of locations

3091 words - 12 pages ability to produce a certain good with fewer resources than the trading partner. Here is an example of how the Theory of Absolute Advantage worked. Assume labor is the only factor of production. It can be used for the production of either food or cloth.Output per labor hourFood ClothUS 12 3Mexico 6 9Suppose workers in the US produce 12 units of food or 3 yards of cloth in an hour's time; Mexican workers can produce 6 units of food or 9 yards of

History and Scientific Understanding of Tsunamis

2017 words - 8 pages Tsunamis are one of the most dangerous natural disasters known to mankind that cause devastating effects on society. Despite the fact that tsunamis are not frequent phenomena, it causes huge causalities once it occurs. The number of deaths could reach 420 thousand a year, accompanied by the destruction of many costal residences. But despite the fact that tsunami damages are inevitable, it can be reduced. The word tsunami was originated from the

Similar Essays

Compare And Contrast Knowing A Friend To Knowing How To Swim, Knowing A Scientific Theory And Knowing A Historical Period. What Conclusions About The Nature Of Knowledge Can You Reach?

1423 words - 6 pages self - survival. Science and history are interconnected with each other, scientific theory comes from what we are trying to prove that it is true or that it will work. Historical period, for instance, timeline of our life, timeline of our house, etc., historical period is a diary of our past. These all can be considered as a way to gain knowledge in human nature, nature of knowledge. Nature of knowledge consists of these mentioned above words, all

Marx's Theory Of Class Essay

2711 words - 11 pages class, one can reconstruct how the term is to be understood in his writings.In the Communist Manifesto, Marx presents us with a theory of world history as asuccession of class struggles for economic and political power. The main classes of pre-capitalistsocieties are stated as: 'freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master andjourneyman'1. But the dominant theme of Western society is the conflict between the

Marx's Theory Of Alienation Essay

1019 words - 4 pages Marx's theory of alienation has to do with the separation of things that logically belong together. According to Marx, alienation is a universal result of capitalism. Marx's theory of alienation is based upon his observation that, within the capitalist mode of production, workers consistently lose determination of their lives and fates by being deprived of the right to envision themselves as the administrator of their actions. Workers become

Karl Marx's Theory Of Alienation Essay

579 words - 2 pages Few philosophers viscerally strike a chord with their readers, regardless of the subject in question. Yet there is something within Marx's essay, Alienated Labor, that is able to communicate directly to working people laboring even over one-hundred and fifty years subsequent to its publication. There is good reason for this: Marx elucidated a theory of labor in which workers become subservient to the objects they produce, a theory where people
Transporter | Hong Kong | USA | BE BLUES ~Ao ni nare~: Chapter 34: Number 9