Date of Award

8-13-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Andrew Altman

Second Advisor

Suzie Love

Abstract

An ongoing point of contention within political philosophy—particularly among those on the Left—is to what extent, if at all, Marxist theory is useful in addressing certain forms of oppression found under capitalism, such as racist oppression. Leftist critics of orthodox Marxism, prominently including Nancy Fraser, often claim that Marx’s critique of capitalism is class-essentialist and unduly narrow and that his theory of exploitation—which these critics allege is the essence of Marx’s theory—is inadequate for the purposes of understanding “extra-economic” forms of oppression. I disagree with these critics. Focusing on Fraser, my aim is to show precisely why the critics are wrong and, moreover, to offer at least an outline for a positive account of a Marxist theory of race and racism, particularly as situated within capitalism.

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