Marx: The first 100 years

Ref: C2340494

This course is an introduction to Marx's philosophy, its context and influence. It will cover 1. The role of conflict in philosophy and society; 2. idealist and materialist explanations of society and history; 3. alienation and exploitation; 4. class and class consciousness. We will examine how conflict is given a positive role in Marx's analysis (unlike in logic); look at examples of materialist explanations today; consider to what extent the ideas of alienation and exploitation are relevant today; examine what is distinctive about Marx's idea of class; and debate 'false consciousness'.

Course aim

Explore the context and influence of Marx’s philosophy from 19th century materialism via the New Left of the 1970s to the current use of Marxist ideas.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • explain the role of conflict a) in logic and b) in Marxist philosophy
  • name at least one assumption in each the idealist and the materialist explanations of society and history
  • name at least 2 features of a) alienation and b) exploitation
  • explain how Marx's idea of class is different from how class is normally understood in British society
  • give your view - with reasons - on how relevant aspects of Marx's philosophy are today

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • further reading : (by J Wolff)

Download full course information sheet

Marx: The first 100 years

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This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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