Marxism and Human Nature

Marxism and Human Nature

Marxism and Human Nature

Marxism and Human Nature

Synopsis

Is there such a thing as human nature? Here Sean Sayers defends the controversial theory that human nature is in fact an historical phenomenon. He gives an ambitious and wide ranging defence of the Marxist and Hegelian historical approach and engages with a wide range of work at the heart of the contemporary debate in social and moral philosophy.

Excerpt

In this book I am attempting to work out some of the social and moral implications of the historical approach of Marx and Hegel. Although the book has been a long time in the writing, I am aware that it is still tentative and exploratory in nature. It records a set of interim results rather than a fixed and finished theory. I hope to resume work on these issues in better times and a more hospitable intellectual climate.

In the course of writing this book I have received valuable help and encouragement from many people. In particular I would like to thank the members of the Hegel reading group in which I participated for many years for their intellectual stimulus and support: Chris Arthur, Andrew Chitty, Filio Diamanti, Susan Easton, David Lamb, Joe McCarney and Joan Saffran. I am also grateful for comments and criticisms over many years to generations of students; to colleagues including David McLellan, Tony Skillen, Richard Norman, Anne Seller and Simon Glendinning; and to friends, particularly George Márkus, Danny Goldstick, Peter Caws and Caroline New. I would also like to thank Carole Davies for typing up some of the manuscript so cheerfully and efficiently. I owe a special debt of gratitude for help and support of all kinds to my wife Janet. The original inspiration for these ideas was planted long ago by my mother, Tana Sayers, to whose memory this book is dedicated.

Canterbury
October 1997

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