Philosophical Studies

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 259-270

First online:

Popper's critique of Marx

  • Richard HudelsonAffiliated withUniversity of Minnesota

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In this paper I have not argued in support of a Marxist science of history. In fact, I do not believe Marx claimed to have developed a science of history, though this has not been argued here. My aim has been solely to provide an examination of Popper's critique of Marx. I believe I have shown that:
  1. 1.

    Even if one accepts Popper's critique of Marx, most of Marx's economics remain immune from this criticism.

  2. 2.

    Marx did not hold many of the tenets of historicism.

  3. 3.

    Popper has failed to show that there cannot be laws of social development.

  4. 4.

    Popper has failed to show that we cannot know laws of social development.

  5. 5.

    Marx does not confuse trends and laws in the way that Popper suggests and makes basic to this critique of historicism.