Marx's method

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Various Marxist authors have focused on Marx's method of analysis and presentation (historical materialist and logically dialectical) as key factors both in understanding the range and incisiveness of Karl Marx's theoretical writing in general and Das Kapital in particular. One of the clearest and most instructive examples of this is his discussion of the value-form, which acts as a primary guide or key to understanding the logical argument as it develops throughout the volumes of Das Kapital.[citation needed]

Marx himself presents a simplified explanation in the Appendix to the first German edition of Das Kapital published in English translation in Capital & Class. The need for this appendix was suggested by Engels[1] and there is an exchange of correspondence[1][2][3][4] concerning its purpose and form.

Readings on Marx’s method

  • Henryk Grossman focussed considerable effort in often difficult circumstances in pursuing fundamental research into Marx’s method. His studies resulted amongst others in his masterwork: The Law of Accumulation and the breakdown of the Capitalist System: Being also a theory of crises Pluto 1992.
  • Evald Ilyenkov The Dialectics of the Abstract and the Concrete in Marx's Capital Progress Moscow 1982
  • Franz Jakubowski in his Ideology and Superstructure in Historical Materialism Pluto 1990
  • Karl Korsch Three Essays on Marxism Pluto 1971 and Marxism and Philosophy Monthly Review 1970
  • György Lukács in "What is Orthodox Marxism?", defined orthodoxy as the fidelity to the "Marxist method"
  • Geoffrey Pilling Marx’s Capital: Philosophy and political economy RKP 1980
  • Roman Rosdolsky particularly in The Making of Marx's Capital Pluto 1980
  • Isaak Illich Rubin Essays on Marx’s Theory of Value Black & Red 1972
  • Jindřich Zelený The Logic of Marx Blackwell 1980


  1. 1.0 1.1 Engels to Marx, June 16, 1867 Letters on ‘Capital’
  2. Marx to Engels, June 22, 1867 Letters on ‘Capital’
  3. Engels to Marx, June 24, 1867 Letters on ‘Capital’
  4. Marx to Engels, June 27, 1867 Letters on ‘Capital’


  • Marx, Karl & Engels, Frederick 1983 Letters on ‘Capital’ New Park

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