Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Lectures on the History of Moral and Political Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jonathan Wolff and G. A. Cohen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149004

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149004.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Reply to Elster on “Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory”

Reply to Elster on “Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory”

Chapter:
(p.284) Chapter 10 Reply to Elster on “Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory”
Source:
Lectures on the History of Moral and Political Philosophy
Author(s):

G. A. Cohen

, Jonathan Wolff
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691149004.003.0010

In this chapter, the author responds to Jon Elster's criticism of his use of functional explanation in his account of historical materialism. Elster rejects the association between Marxism and functional explanation, arguing that there is no scope for functional explanation in social science. He therefore concludes that the Marxist theory of society and history should abandon functional explanation and that it should, instead, draw for its explanations on the resources of game theory. The author offers an explanation of historical materialist theory that he attributes, on a textual basis, to Karl Marx, and that he articulates and defends in his book Karl Marx's Theory of History. He asserts that game theory cannot replace functional explanation within Marxist social analysis and that it has no place at the heart of historical materialism, alongside functional explanation.

Keywords:   game theory, Jon Elster, functional explanation, historical materialism, Marxism, Karl Marx, Theory of History, social analysis

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.