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Title: Marxism and methodologies of history.
Author: McLennan, Gregor
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1980
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In what follows, I try to develop and clarify the relationship between marxism, philosophy, and historiography. I discuss some key issues in historical materialism; the nature of historians' methodological presuppositions; and some historical debates wbich highlight theoretical problems. I argue that reflection of a philosophical kind is indispensible in history and social theory. However, it !s always difficult to strike the proper balance between general pronouncements and specific analysis. The difficulty enters historical research in questions about teleology 'ind reductionism, which I illustrate. Historical materialism is the tradition which most seriously confronts, and attempts to resolve, these problems. I support the contention that marxism can establish an integrated and synthetic account of the socio-historical world. While philosophy plays a central role here, I point out the problematical status of philosophy in marxism too. If marxist theory displays and requires premisses of an epistemologically 'realist' sort, it i~ also true t~lt marxism cannot carry a unique or elaborate philosophy. The elusive aspiration to provide an all-embracing world-view has resulted in a complicated combination of generalization and research within marxist historiography. I attempt to elucidate these issues, and show the respects in which marxist as well as other historians could be more self-critical about their assumptions in substantive debate. The thesis is approximately 104,000 words long.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy Philosophy Religion History