Date of Award

Fall 2005

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

South, James

Second Advisor

Monahan, Michael

Third Advisor

Foster, Susanne


The title of this dissertation is a question: Is there a future to Marxist humanism? The work itself is an affirmative answer. The motive behind asking this question is the perennial debate surrounding the relevance of Marxism as a school of social and political thought. There are aspects of Marxism that are, arguably, no longer tenable, yet there are others that are more relevant today than ever. It is the argument of the following dissertation that Marxist humanism is of continued relevance as both an analytical tool as well as a fertile ground for a political project of emancipation. However, the notion of a uniquely "Marxist humanism" is problematic. The fact that it is "Marxist" might lead to the confusion that it is thus based solely on the teachings of Karl Marx. Although his works provide the groundwork to the present project, it is the spirit and not necessarily the letter of Marxism that motivates the following discussion. That is, Marx's humanist project can continue without necessarily relying on his more questionable doctrines. The spirit of Marxist humanism lies in its demand for human well-being through mutual recognition achieved within an appropriately amenable social space wherein economic relations form the foundation to other equally as important intersubjective relationships. Marxist humanism is concerned primarily with the promotion of human values, namely, the alleviation of suffering and the promotion of human flourishing through a systemic change in the structure of society, beginning with economics but encompassing all areas of interpersonality...



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