Marxism and Morality: A Critical Examination of Marxist Ethics

By Nicholas Churchich

The definitive evaluation of the ethical arguments of Marx and Marxism.

ISBN: 9780227176818


Karl Marx promised, in the preface to his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, that he would write an ‘independent pamphlet’ on ethics. Although he never did so, in his later writings he discussed morality extensively. Later commentators were more concerned with other aspects of Marx’s thought and largely neglected this area. As a result, Nicholas Churchich’s exposition of Marx’s thoughts on morality has become the standard work on the subject. Thoroughly researched, well reasoned, and balanced in its argument, Marxism and Morality presents a comprehensive and critical analysis of Marx’s and Engel’s ideas on morality and ethics, analysing both strengths and weaknesses.

Churchich examines morality in its bourgeois and proletarian forms, the origin and development of moral ideas, moral values and standards, egoism and altruism. He explores the role of religion and science in communist ethics, and discusses the ends and means in the struggle for a classless society. Praised by those on both sides of the political divide for his objectivity, Churchich’s approach remains the definitive evaluation of the ethical arguments of Marxism.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 320

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Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Dr Nicholas Churchich studied philosophy, theology and science at several universities in England and Wales, obtaining multiple University of London diplomas. After working for several years at the Senate House, London University and then at the Royal Society of Medicine as Medical Biographer, he went to the Commonwealth Mycological Institute in Kew Gardens, where he held the position of Senior Scientific Information officer for twenty years. Alongside many articles for scientific journals and on moral and political themes, Churchich’s publications include The Ethics of Reason in the Philosophical System of Dositej Obradovic (1976) and Marxism and Alienation (1990).



1. Morality: Bourgeois and ‘Truly’ Human
2. The Origin and Development of Moral Ideas
3. Ambiguity in the Marxist Interpretation of Good and Evil, Right and Wrong
4. Man: His Nature and Values
5. Moral Standards: Bourgeois and Communist
6. The Pursuit of Self-Interest and Altruism
7. Rights and Duties
8. Virtues, Moral Evil and Justice
9. Ends and Means in the Struggle for a Classless Society
10. Religion, Science and Ethics