Marx and Macfarlane: On Peasant and Capitalist Ownership in England

David Braybrooke, Bryson Brown, Peter K. Schotch and Laura Byrne

in Logic on the Track of Social Change

Published in print December 1995 | ISBN: 9780198235309
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679056 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

Marx and Macfarlane: On Peasant and Capitalist Ownership in England

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Once caught up in the dispute between Stone and Macfarlane about changes in British marriage, we shall not let the disputants go until we have dealt with another subject in dispute between them that is linked to Macfarlane's interpretation of Marx. Macfarlane argues that Stone's account of the history of marriage and the family in England is flawed because the historical data for the period that concerns Stone do not support the large-scale transformations that he posits. Macfarlane identifies the problem here as Stone's acceptance of Marx's (later Weber's) account of the evolution of English society from a peasant economy to a capitalist one. Macfarlane contends that these changes did not take place during the time-period delimited by Marx. Evolution of the concept of property is central to both Macfarlane's and Marx's accounts of the social transformation at issue; consequently this chapter formulates changing conceptions of property as social rules and in so doing reveals that Marx and Macfarlane are working with different notions of property, and different notions about the relation of property to individualism.

Keywords: logic; rules; marriage; history; Lawrence Stone; Alan Macfarlane; Marx; English society; property

Chapter.  6061 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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