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DignityA History$
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Remy Debes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199385997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199385997.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

Taking Refuge from History in Morality

Taking Refuge from History in Morality

Marx, Morality, and Dignity

(p.291) Reflection Taking Refuge from History in Morality

Somogy Varga

Oxford University Press

Reading Marx’s work on central issues such as alienation and class struggle, one is often under the impression that the concept of dignity serves as a normative framework underpinning his diagnosis and criticism—especially in his early work. However, Marx also vehemently opposes concepts like “human dignity,” suggesting that moral terms like dignity are little more than “empty phrases.” To provide a better understanding of this tension, this reflection takes a closer look at the general understanding of morality within historical materialism, and the specific character of the Kantian notion of dignity that fuels Marx’s critical attitude.

Keywords:   Marx, dignity, historical materialism, morality, Kant

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