Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Steinbock, Anthony


In this thesis I develop an account of Marx's concept of "freedom" through its relation to other key concepts in Marx's work. First, I distinguish Marx's understanding of "freedom" from historical liberal conceptions of freedom, or "liberty," and show that Marx has a concrete understanding of freedom. This leads to a close analysis of Marx's concept of freedom primarily through two texts, the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, and the later Grundrisse. Although in both dimensions of the problem I utilize the relation of the concept of "freedom"' to the concepts of "alienation"-- which gives aspects of freedom through its obverse relation to freedom, and "human essence"--which underlies both concepts but is given through them as well, the problem is developed differently in each due the orientation of each text. I give further aspects of Marx's understanding of "freedom" through an analysis of Marx's account of capitalism and exchange value. After having developed an account of Marx's concept of "freedom," I explore avenues for developing a viable Marxism and the grounds of possibility for the realization of freedom.




This thesis is only available for download to the SIUC community. Others should
contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library.