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.




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