Marxist Sociology

Marxist Sociology

Marxist Sociology

Marxist Sociology

Excerpt

The debate about a Marxist sociology has gone on for a long time. Indeed, it may be said to have begun with Marx himself, not in his occasional slighting references to Comte, but in those passages - unfortunately all too few - in which he reflected upon the aims and methods of his own studies.

Marx's criticisms of Comte, and still more of his disciples in France and England, were not directed against Comte's intention to construct a general social science and to formulate historical laws (that is, against his 'positivism'), 1 but against the form which this new science took, and against the political doctrines which were derived from it. Comte's synthesis, Marx considered, was 'miserable compared to Hegel'. 2 The comparison itself is instructive, for one major element in Comte's theory to which Marx would have been particularly unsympathetic is the 'law of the three stages', which interprets historical change in terms of the development of mind, and in this respect resembles Hegel's philosophy of history. On another occasion, referring to the ideas of . . .

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