Marx and Whitehead

Process, Dialectics, and the Critique of Capitalism

By Anne Fairchild Pomeroy

Subjects: Process Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Paperback : 9780791459843, 240 pages, January 2004
Hardcover : 9780791459836, 240 pages, January 2004

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Table of contents

List of Abbreviations




1. Introduction: Marx and Whitehead

Regarding Metaphysics
The Process of Dialectics

2. The Dialectics of Process

From Internal Relations to Dialectics
Interpreting Experience
The Actual Entity
The Genetic Analysis
The Coordinate Analysis
From Microcosm to Macrocosm

3. The Process of Production

The Process of Production in General
Appropriation, Activity, Objectification
The Primacy of Production
The Subjectivist Bias
Determinism and Materialism


4. Being and Beings

Process, Production, and the Macrocosmic Ontology
Microcosmic Being
Macrocosmic Being

5. The Labor Theory of Value

The Process of Production and Labor
Labor and Value

6. Time and Labor

Metaphysics and Time
The Sphere of Production
Intensive Exploitation
Extensive Exploitation and the Contradictions of Capitalism


7. Alienation

Alienated Labor
The Objectivity of Labor
The Subjectivity of Labor
Species Life
Self and Others
The Meaning of Alienation

8. Misplaced Concreteness

Capitalism as Abstraction
The abstraction of commodity exchange
The abstraction of labor
The Critique of Abstractions
Misplaced Concreteness
Anti-process, anti-praxis, anti-humanism
Disjecta membra

9. Solidarity

Eternal Objects
From Human Consciousness to Radical Consciousness
Beyond Capitalism




A reading of Marx's critique of capitalism through the lens of process philosophy.


Marx and Whitehead boldly asks us to reconsider capitalism, not merely as an "economic system" but as a fundamentally self-destructive mode that, by its very nature and operation, undermines the cohesive fabric of human existence. Author Anne Fairchild Pomeroy asserts that it is impossible to appreciate fully the impact of Marx's critique of capitalism without understanding the philosophical system that underlies it. Alfred North Whitehead's work is used to forge a systematic link between process philosophy and dialectical materialism via the category of production. Whitehead's process thought brings Marx's philosophical vision into sharper focus. This union provides the grounds for Pomeroy's claim that the heart of Marx's critique of capitalism is fundamentally ontological, and that therefore the necessary condition for genuine human flourishing lies in overcoming the capitalist form of social relations.

Anne Fairchild Pomeroy is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Richard Stockton College.


"…a timely and accessible tool in our conceptual and actual dismantlement of an inhuman economic system via the illuminating intersection of the philosophies of Marx and Whitehead. " — DIALOGUE

"…Pomeroy successfully deploys Whitehead's work to sustain Marx's texts against charges of determinism or overly strict materialism, and to describe how both manage to overcome the society/nature dichotomy. " — Radical Philosophy

"Pomeroy's linking of Marx and Whitehead is a bold move that dramatically enhances our understanding of both thinkers. It is a connection rarely attempted by Marxists or Whiteheadians, and never before in such a sustained and detailed manner. " — George Allan, author of The Patterns of the Present: Interpreting the Authority of Form