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The Concept of Justice in Marx


Elliot R. Pruzan

Through an extensive examination of the conceptions of social justice that may be ascribed validly to Karl Marx's political thougtht, Elliot R. Pruzan analyzes the apparent conflict between Marx as «value-neutral» social scientist and as revolutionary. He suggests a resolution to this conflict through a carefully constructed presentation of Marx's theory of human nature and the ethical presuppositions of that theory. In so doing, Pruzan identifies those elements of Marx's political thought that warrant our continued serious consideration of it as a genuine theory of politics, especially when compared with other more traditionally conceived forms of political thought.
Contents: The Concept of Justice in Marx presents a unique treatment of the relationships between Marx's political thought and the ethical presuppositions of that thought. Pruzan explicates the juridical and abstract senses of justice commonly used by Marx and then presents a more thorough-going conception of justice implicit in Marx which he calls Marx's «critique of injustice». Pruzan then considers a second Marxian conception of justice presupposed in Marx's discussions of production and distribution, the «theory of productive justice». Pruzan concludes with an evaluation of these two conceptions of justice and discusses their significance for Marx's political thought.