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Marx’s Views On Ideology

  • Choose one of the following general subject areas:
  • Western conservative political thought since the 1950s.
  • contemporary Islamic political thought. Contemporary means since WW2.
  • Contemporary defense of Aquinas’ theory of the natural law
  • Contemporary defenses of Aristotle’s political thought
  • contemporary Chinese political thought, that is, Chinese approaches to what form of government is best: perspectives that represent a Chinese viewpoint (not views by someone who happens to be of Chinese ethnicity or descent). Contemporary means since the end of Mao regime.
  • Machiavelli’s The Prince
  • Locke’s defense of property and its contemporary relevance.
  • feminism and religion
  • Marx’s view of ideology
  • Mill’s On Liberty
  • Nietzsche’s political thought
  • You must read at least seven articles or books addressing the chosen topic area. OUR TEXT BOOK AND ANY HANDOUTS OR ASSIGNMENTS FROM THIS COURSE DO NOT COUNT. The books or articles MUST be serious academic treatments of the topic area you have chosen. This is the minimum background to the state of the literature that you must have.
  • You must then narrow your topic to a particular question relating to your subject area: one way to do this is to choose either “defenses” or “critiques” of your general subject. (For example, “defenses of Locke’s theory of property” or “critiques of Marx’s view of ideology” or “criticisms of contemporary defenses of Aquinas’ theory of the natural law”) Another way to do this is to ask a specific question within this topic area: for example, “what are the approaches to peace in contemporary Islamic thought?” But this is up to you.
  • You must then think about the state of the literature after having read seven works in your subject area.
  • Then in your paper, concretely do the following:
  • Provide an introductory paragraph where you state the general subject area and the specific question you will be exploring and the goal of your paper, i.e. to survey the state of significant literature in the field of political philosophy on the specific topic. Tell the read in the introduction how you will organize and develop your ideas in the paper. In other words, provide a roadmap.
  • Provide a TWO PAGE summary of the general topic and important terms in your specific question. So if you are working on critiques of contemporary defenses of Aristotle , you need a two page summary of just what Aristotle is saying. If you are doing Islamic critiques of Jihad (for example) you need two page summary of Islamic political thought and the concept of Jihad.
  • Then summarize the seven works you have read.
  • Then you must determine if there are important issues that you believe are not being addressed or not being adequately addressed in the 7 pieces that you have read that constitute the state of the literature in regard to your subject area and specific question. Ask yourself: is there too much emphasis on certain issues in the writings that have been done in your topic area and specific question, and are there important gaps?
  • Then focus in on the seven articles or books even more. Identify in these seven works any recurring claims relating to your topic and specific question (once again, for example, recurring claims about “critiques of Locke’s view of property” or “defense of jihad in contemporary Islamic thought” etc.). Organize the seven pieces in a way that clusters together views that have the same specific claim or thesis relating to your topic and specific question. Also, ask if there are recurring errors or misinterpretations that you can detect in the seven works.
  • Then have the paper make a suggestion for areas that political theorists writing in your chosen area should focus on, in your opinion. But do not have this be a sheer empty opinion: be able to defend why you would recommend future research do x or go in direction. In other words, are there gaps in the literature, areas where you think there should be more work done on your topic.
  • End with a summary conclusion outlining once again what you have achieved in the paper
  • Add an addendum to the paper thanking Joseph Prud’homme and one living relative of your choice for all they have done for you

Title: Marx’s Views On Ideology
Length: 9 pages (2475 Words)
Style: APA


Marx’s Views on Ideology

Karl Marx once famously stated that when the essence and appearance of objects directly coincide, knowledge would be superfluous. The purpose of knowledge, in this case, is to aid in the discovery of reality’s nature concealed under surface appearance. From the above definition, Marx makes an assertion that if things appear just as they are, science would not be required to remove the veil of appearance. Therefore, social science is the search for society’s real nature that lies beneath its visible and external facades.

 If the realities in society are observable through our daily experiences, then scientific reflection on reality is not required. The ideology that society has a certain “appearance” that is dissimilar to social essence forms the basis of Marxist discussion of ideology(Drucker 1972)[1]. Precisely, ideology refers to the facets that allow persistence in society despite the fact that society might have certain contradictions.

[1]Drucker, H. M. 1972. "Marx's Concept of Ideology." Philosophy, Volume 47, Issue 180 152-161.


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