Karl Marx’s Conception of Alienation

Great Piece here on Alienation…

1000-Word Philosophy

Author: Dan Lowe
Category: Social and Political Philosophy
Word Count: 1000

Karl Marx’s thought is wide-ranging and has had a massive influence in, especially, philosophy and sociology. Marx is best known for his two unsparing critiques of capitalism. The first of these critiques maintains that capitalism is essentially alienating. The second of these critiques maintains that capitalism is essentially exploitative.1 This essay focuses specifically on Marx’s theory of alienation, which rests on Marx’s specific claims about both economics and human nature.

Marx’s Analysis of Capitalism

For Marx, the idea of the means of production is a crucial economic category. The means of production include nearly everything needed to produce commodities, including natural resources, factories, and machinery. The key element not included as part of the means of production is labor.2 In a capitalist economy, as opposed to a communist or socialist economy, the means of production are privately owned…

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