Denise Meyerson

in False Consciousness

Published in print May 1991 | ISBN: 9780198248194
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681073 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs


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  • Social and Political Philosophy


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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

Chapter.  532 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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