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False Consciousness$
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Denise Meyerson

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198248194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198248194.001.0001

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(p.169) Conclusion
False Consciousness

Denise Meyerson

Oxford University Press

This book on Marxism has aimed to expose certain ‘necessary illusions’ about political life, to discredit agent's perceptions of political reality, and to supply an explanation for their misconceptions. The misconceptions of member of the ruling class about their motives are explained by the economic interests they serve and they must be motivated. Marxists ought not to talk in terms of true wants in the context of workers failing to perceive their interests. Marxists claims can be defended philosophically and ought to be of more general interest. Marxists are right to hold a factual and want-independent conception of interests and are justified in thinking that desires can have the wrong kind of causal history. Reason plays a smaller part of human life than they liked to think. As Marx stated, what is experienced as natural or inevitable acquires ‘stability’ and this is an insight which carries over into non-economic areas of life too.

Keywords:   illusions, political life, misconceptions, motivations, true wants, interests, desires, causal history, reason, stability

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