G.A. Cohen

G.A. Cohen teaches philosophy at University College, London. He is the author of Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence.

I do not agree that the new use of ‘she’ ‘invariably imparts something of a mental jolt to the reader’ (emphases added). That depends on the reader, and, unless she has made a survey, E.J. Mishan (Letters, 25 June) should speak for herself. I think, too, that, to the extent that jolts occur, that is because the new use is not sufficiently entrenched. In much US academese, ‘she’ is no longer...

Mind the gap

G.A. Cohen, 14 May 1992

Sidney Morgenbesser says that ‘All Philo is Philo l.’ He means, I think, that nothing is established in philosophy. At any time everything can be turned around, and the front line is pretty close to base camp.



9 July 1987

SIR: A minute’s walk from where I write a Bangladeshi waiter was recently murdered by two white youths. His assailants did not knife him because he was carrying a fat wallet or because of some personal conflict: they killed him because he was Asian. In a nearby school a boy of mixed race has been called a ‘scalliwog’, not by his mates, but by one of his teachers, in class. And white adolescents...

Views of Marx

G.A. Cohen, 15 May 1980

Frank Parkin calls his challenging book ‘bourgeois’, but it is possible to be more bourgeois about class than Parkin is. Much bourgeois sociology denies the existence of distinct classes: it sees only gentle gradations of income, status and power. Parkin’s classes are as real as those of any Marxist. He thinks there is an exploiting bourgeoisie and an exploited proletariat. He also thinks that classes are agents. They act, collectively. They make history.

Happy Campers: G.A. Cohen

Ellen Meiksins Wood, 28 January 2010

‘Socialism’, Albert Einstein said, is humanity’s attempt ‘to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development’, and for G.A. Cohen ‘every...

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My body is my own

David Miller, 31 October 1996

At the heart of 19th-century socialism lay a vision of a moral world in which men and women would co-operate freely with one another to meet their common needs, a world in which, therefore,...

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British Marxism

Richard Norman, 21 February 1980

Is there a British Marxism? David McLellan’s new book offers, implicitly, an answer. In his comprehensive survey of ‘Marxism after Marx’, one of the 24 chapters is devoted to...

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