Marx and Wittgenstein

Social Praxis and Social Explanation

By D. Rubinstein

© 2005 – Routledge

232 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415611039
pub: 2010-11-11
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415382809
pub: 2005-10-13
US Dollars$350.00

About the Book

Despite the great differences between them, both Marx and Wittgenstein reject Cartesian dualism by showing that the mind is a property of action and that hte meaning of an action lies not in subjective consciousness but in the system of social praxis in which an action occurs. This common view provides groundwork for undercutting the enduring debate between 'subjectivism' and 'objectivism' in the social sciences, and is the key to their notionof social explanation. Because the meaning of an action, in their view, is a feature of social order rather than individual consciousness, the form of analysis implied in their work cannot be termed either subjectivist or objectivist. Rather it incorporates the useful aspects of both forms of analysis since understanding action, in this view, presupposes an understanding of the system of social practices in which it occurs. It is argued at several points that both subjectivism and objectivism are largely efforts to resolve the problems posed for social science by dualism, and that the key to the ability of Marx and WIttgenstein to transcend the debate is in their shared rejection of Cartesian dualism.

The unique objectives of the study will be of particular interest to all philosophers and social scientists, and all those interested in the interrelationship between the two disciplines.

Table of Contents



1. The problem of a social science

2. Objectivism in social science

3. Subjectivism in social science

4. Conclusion to part 1


5. Mind and body

6. Mind and action

7. Philosophical analysis and understanding ideas

8. Explaining action

9. The social self

10. The epistemology of Marx and Wittgenstein

11. Conclusion

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Epistemology
PHILOSOPHY / Methodology