Ideology and False Consciousness

Marx and His Historical Progenitors

By Christopher L. Pines

Subjects: Philosophy Of The Social Sciences
Series: SUNY series in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Paperback : 9780791414323, 242 pages, July 1993
Hardcover : 9780791414316, 242 pages, July 1993

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Table of contents

1 Introduction to the Problematic

2 Bacon's Theory of Idols and Marx on Ideological Fallacies

3 Ideology and the French Enlightenment

4 Ideology and Political Class Struggle: Hegel's Philosophy of History and the Political False Consciousness in the Writings of Marx and Engels

5 The Hegelian and Feuerbachian Approach to the Alienated Mind

6 Alienation and False Consciousness in the Writings of the Young Marx

7 Alienation, the Fetishism of Commodities, and Ideology in Capital

8 Conclusion





In this book Christopher Pines demonstrates that Karl Marx conceived of ideology as false consciousness. He shows how the different meanings of false consciousness found in the writings of Marx and Engels reflect the influence of the views of the Baconian-French Enlightenment and of Hegelian Feuerbachian philosophies. Pines argues that, for Marx, the diverse senses of false consciousness all generally denote a social consciousness that takes certain false things to be true regarding matters of significance to class-divided societies.

Christopher L. Pines is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Rio Grande.


"This is a thorough and carefully reasoned argument for a clearly articulated thesis, namely that Marx's concept of ideology is epistemological, and that it is not at variance with Engel's characterization. This is the best-developed counterargument to McCarney's book on Marx on ideology. The examination of the historical sources of Marx's conception in the philosophes and in Feuerbach is persuasive and complete. It will serve as a locus classicus for the discussion on its topic. " — Marx W. Wartofsky, The City University of New York

"In my opinion, this book is a significant achievement, and should make a major contribution to Marx scholarship. Above all, it provides a very original method of analysis. In a highly creative manner, Pines combines a presentation of the historical predecessors of Marx's conception of ideology as 'false consciousness' with a complex, many-leveled analysis of Marx's theory. " — James Lawler, State University of New York at Buffalo