Marx, Marginalism and Modern Sociology: From Adam Smith to Max Weber by Simon Clarke

Published by MacMillan, 1982, Paperback.

Condition: Good. A pleasant enough reading copy. Light reading creases to the spine. Heavily faded at the spine. Previous owners’ inscription to the first blank. Occasional pencil to the margins & text.

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From the cover: What is the conceptual basis of the modern disciplines of economics and sociology? Talcott Parsons hailed the emergence of the Voluntaristic theory of action, above all, in the work of Max Weber as the breakthrough to a scientific sociology, just as historians of economics acclaim the marginalist revolution. Simon Clarke argues that these events are connected, that marginalist economics created the possibility of its sociological complement, Weberian sociology.

Marx, Marginalism and Modern Sociology argues that the marginalist revolution was not a scientific revolution but the basis of a reformulation of an established ideology, political economy, in response to the rise of an organised working class. It provided, Clarke argues, the intellectual basis for a range of political responses to that challenge and to the demands for the reform of capitalism that it entailed.

This book argues that sociology and economics are inseparable: that all economic theories are necessarily theories of society and that any social theory must rest on a particular conception of the economy. Taking the path of historical development Simon Clarke shows how Marxs critique of classical political economy was primarily addressed to its naturalistic theory of capitalist society, which gave it an ideological character. The development of sociology and historicism, of marginalist economics and of Webers sociology from the ashes of classical political economy, using the same ideological foundations, make Marxs critique of continuing relevance in the evaluation of the artificially separate modern disciplines of economics and sociology.

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