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A study of Marx's method in the work of V.I. Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg

Padgett, Stephen (1980) A study of Marx's method in the work of V.I. Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94568) (KAR id:94568)

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This theis is a study of the Marxism of V. I. Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg,in the context of the intellectual currents of Second International Marxism. A central argument is that the work of Lenin and Luxemburg contains evidence of a mode of thought uhich distinguished them from their contemporaries. The object of this thesis is to define and explore the methodology underpinning Marx's work,and to indicate the affinities between Marx's methodology and that of Lenin and Luxemburg. Whilst the work of neither Lenin nor Luxemburg was entirely free of the positivism often found in the Second International,an appreciation ofuhich is the methodology underlying certain concepts in Marx's economic and political theory is evident in their work. The abstractions uhich Marx employed in his economic work, and the nature of the laws uhich his findings indicated, were often misconstrued and deformed by the Marxists of the Second International,uho lacked the broad vision to confront the object of their enquiry in its wider significance - to grasp the broad canvas of events as they unfolded. The subjective aspects of Marx'x thought uere almost completely neglected by Marxists in this period, obscured by the militant, undeviating materialism uhich dominated their thought. In Part I of this thesis, the construction of Marx's work, the evolution of his thought and the methodological precepts which govern it are examined. Parts II and III trace the themes of Marx's method in the contributions which Lenin and Luxemburg made to debates on the questions which moved Marxists in the period. It is argued that Lenin and Luxemburg set themselves apart from their peers by their ability to excavate beneath the surface of Marx's work, to grasp the methodological nuances which it contained, and to replicate these in their own work. In short, it is argued that their mode of thought uas sympathetic to Marx's own.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: McLellan, David
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94568
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2022 11:45 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2022 08:26 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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