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historical materialism

historical materialism A term applied by Karl Marx himself to his theory of society and history. ‘Historical’ entailed the analysis of how particular forms of society had come into existence, and the specific historical contexts within which apparently universal or eternal social forms—state, religion, market, and so forth—were located. Materialism denoted the rejection of Hegelian idealism and the primacy of socio-economic processes and relations. A sustained attempt to defend Marx's account of the determining role in history played by the productive forces is made by William H. Shaw (Marx's Theory of History, 1978).See also BASE; ECONOMIC DETERMINISM; FORCES OF PRODUCTION; HISTORICISM; LABOUR THEORY OF VALUE; MARXISM; MODE OF PRODUCTION; RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION; SUPERSTRUCTURE.

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historical materialism

historical materialism: see dialectical materialism.

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