[OPE-L] Karl Marx's Theory of Ideas (Studies in Marxism and Social Theory) by John Torrance

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Wed Jun 07 2006 - 09:24:15 EDT

Only half way through this very logn study. Seems to have been
neglected compared to Cohen's and Elster's contributions but a more
important book than theirs in many ways. Best catalogue of the many
meanings of ideology in Marx's thought that I know. Excellent
discussion of the cognitive distortions which result from
the dazzling surface appearances of circulation and exchange. Though
one would have wished for a better analysis of money, e.g. why crises
  appear to result from a shortage of money. Bullock and Yaffe's
analysis far superior in this way. Torrance's analysis of
sociological holism is short but very good in my opinion. And while
one is easily lost in the overabundance of analytical distinctions,
there is a good attempt to differentiate kinds of beliefs, in
particular that kind of theorizing which results from
overgeneralizing from the experience especially susceptible to the
cognitive illusions generated by commodity exchange practices.


Karl Marx's Theory of Ideas (Studies in Marxism and Social Theory) (Hardcover)
by John Torrance, G. A. Cohen (Series Editor), Jon Elster (Series
Editor), John Roemer (Series Editor)

Editorial Reviews
"Torrance's book is packed with suggestive notions .... The issues
raised in the book are indeed of lasting and contemporary
importance." Richard D. Chessick, American Journal of Psychotherapy
"...Torrance operates in the analytical mode and aims to give the
reader a plausible construal and defense of Marx's ideas -- at least
in the area under discussion. And, in this aim, the book very largely
succeeds." David McLellan, American Jounral of Sociology

Book Description
Karl Marx's writings contain, besides economic analysis and the
political theory of revolutionary communism, an influential sociology
of ideas, explaining how social life shapes and distorts people's
ideas and beliefs. This book presents a fresh critical study of this
theory, establishing what Marx did and did not say, and
distinguishing the more scientific parts of his thought from those
that were overly influenced by his revolutionary aims. The author
argues that Marx's own theory of ideas can play an important role in
explaining the subsequent degeneration of Marxist thought itself.

Product Details
        *       Hardcover: 455 pages
        *       Publisher: Cambridge University Press (May 4, 1995)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Jun 30 2006 - 00:00:03 EDT