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Unit information: Marx's Political Writings in 2015/16

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Unit name Marx's Political Writings
Unit code PHIL10018
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Patrick
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit will look at Marx's political writings, with a particular focus on his earlier work. It will cover Marx's views on the nature of rights; his ideas about man's alienation in a capitalist society, commodity fetishism and his view of human nature; it will look at more general questions about Marx's methodology and, an account of 'historical materialism'; it will look at the nature of class struggle; and it will look at what Marx had to say about the nature socialism and communism.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, students will:

  1. have a thorough knowledge of Marx’s political writings,
  2. be familiar with some key secondary literature on these texts, and be able to engage critically with it,
  3. be able to analyze and engage critically with the positions and arguments developed by Marx in his political writings.

Teaching Information

10 one-hour lectures.

Assessment Information

Summative: one 2,000-3,000 word essay from a list of questions designed to test intended learning outcomes (1)-(3).

Reading and References

  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, Penguin, London, 2004.
  • Jonathan Wolff, Why read Marx today? OUP, Oxford, 2003.
  • Jon Elster, An introduction to Marx, CUP, Cambridge, 1986.