The Agora Speaker Series is hosted by the School of Liberal Arts. Lectures presented as part of the series are free of charge and are open to members of the School of Liberal Arts, the University and the general public.
Agora Speaker Series 2022 - Dr Tristan Bradshaw
Building 20, Room 3
Aristotle and Marx: Configuring the History of the Human Animal, In and Out of Capitalism
History and science make strange bedfellows. Or at least that's the view of Aristotle. And yet Marx-in one of his most famous texts-not only invokes science in the name of history, but on this basis turns to Aristotle to begin his first published analysis of capital.
In this lecture, I try to account for this unlikely alliance. I suggest that there is exactly one place in Aristotle's vast corpus where he attempts a kind of 'scientific history', and that is his account of the human animal as a political animal in Politics. My reading of this famous part of Aristotle, which is admittedly unorthodox, is motivated by what I see as several persistent misinterpretations.
I will attempt to correct the record and, in doing so, see how Marx's use of Aristotle evinces his critical approach to antiquity as well as capitalism.