Good books on powers – metaphysics to agency to social ontology

Here are some books I recommended on the fb page.  Let’s use this thread to recommend books!  I’ll make another one for articles.

The Activity of Being: An Essay on Aristotle’s Ontology, by Aryeh Kosman

Alienation: Marx’s Conception of Man in Capitalist Society, by Bertell Ollman

Essentialism in the Thought of Karl Marx, by Scott Meikle, esp. ch. 7; Open Court, 1985.  This is a fantastic book.  Everyone should be required to read it.

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2 Responses to Good books on powers – metaphysics to agency to social ontology

  1. kaihogyo says:

    Interesting to see books on Marx being mentioned in relation to this. I know Paul Rækstad, who’s working on Marx in his PhD, is also interested in Marx’s thinking about powers and capabilities. I don’t know how familiar he is with powers metaphysics and the like, but some of the things he’s working on is quite interesting. He’s a CSMN, Center for the Study of Mind in Nature, affiliate at the University of Oslo.

    • rgroff2013 says:

      Why not let him know about the blog! (If he’s an English speaker — or even if not, for that matter.) The more the merrier — it’s not really meant to be a blog-blog so much as a shared venue. In my view, Marx is one of the key primarily-level thinkers that powers theorists should study to see how the metaphysics works out. There are other social theorists who invoke powers as a central aspect of their thinking (e.g., Mill) but invariably they do not have the powers-based metaphysics required to pull it off. In fact, sometimes they explicitly reject the foundation they need. Marx knew his metaphysics. Thanks for posting! I hope you’ll consider introducing yourself in the little category I made for that.

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