Agency and Ethics, Past and Present

Agency and Ethics, Past and Present © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/156920611X564699 Historical Materialism 19.1 (2011) 145–174 brill.nl/hima Agency and Ethics, Past and Present Kelvin Knight London Metropolitan University K.Knight@londonmet.ac.uk Abstract Chris Wickham’s work appears to be motivated by an implicit ethic of ‘protagonism’ or praxis . This essay attempts to explicate that ethic. It argues that his work indicates why and how historical materialism, having abandoned historical teleology, should be combined with a teleological ethics.* Keywords Chris Wickham, Alasdair MacIntyre, practices, ethics, peasantry, teleology A great work of social and economic history cannot but have ethical implications. This is the case with Rodney Hilton’s studies of the late-medieval English peasantry, Christopher Hill’s work on the seventeenth-century ‘English Revolution’, Geoffrey de Ste. Croix’s The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World , and, most transparently, E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class . Each of these issued from a British tradition of Marxist historiography that felt the tension within a ‘science/ethics’-polarity and honed an ‘ethical edge’ in evoking ‘lost rights’ 1 and in writing ‘history from below’. This edge was sharpest in Thompson’s concern with ‘agency’. ‘Readers of William Morris or The Making of the English Working Class will be http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Historical Materialism Brill

Agency and Ethics, Past and Present

Loading next page...
 
/lp/brill/agency-and-ethics-past-and-present-ZGCpj5oTo0
Publisher
BRILL
Copyright
© 2011 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1465-4466
eISSN
1569-206X
D.O.I.
10.1163/156920611X564699
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/156920611X564699 Historical Materialism 19.1 (2011) 145–174 brill.nl/hima Agency and Ethics, Past and Present Kelvin Knight London Metropolitan University K.Knight@londonmet.ac.uk Abstract Chris Wickham’s work appears to be motivated by an implicit ethic of ‘protagonism’ or praxis . This essay attempts to explicate that ethic. It argues that his work indicates why and how historical materialism, having abandoned historical teleology, should be combined with a teleological ethics.* Keywords Chris Wickham, Alasdair MacIntyre, practices, ethics, peasantry, teleology A great work of social and economic history cannot but have ethical implications. This is the case with Rodney Hilton’s studies of the late-medieval English peasantry, Christopher Hill’s work on the seventeenth-century ‘English Revolution’, Geoffrey de Ste. Croix’s The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World , and, most transparently, E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class . Each of these issued from a British tradition of Marxist historiography that felt the tension within a ‘science/ethics’-polarity and honed an ‘ethical edge’ in evoking ‘lost rights’ 1 and in writing ‘history from below’. This edge was sharpest in Thompson’s concern with ‘agency’. ‘Readers of William Morris or The Making of the English Working Class will be

Journal

Historical MaterialismBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2011

Keywords: peasantry; Alasdair MacIntyre; ethics; Chris Wickham; teleology; practices

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off