G. A. Cohen

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G. A. Cohen
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{{for|the American composer and cantor|Gerald Cohen (composer)}}{{EngvarB|date=September 2014}}{{Use dmy dates|date=September 2014}}

| birth_name = Gerald Allan Cohendf=yes4|14}}| birth_place = Montreal, Quebec, Canadadf=yes8194114}}| death_place = Oxford, England| nationality = Canadian| other_names = Jerry Cohen McGill University | New College, Oxford}}(Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence) (1978)ROSEN AUTHOR-LINK=MICHAEL E. ROSEN TITLE=JERRY COHEN: AN APPRECIATION LOCATION=CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS PAGE=5, 9 January 2019, Analytical Marxism left-libertarianismPeter Vallentyne>Vallentyne, Peter (2014). "Libertarianism". In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University. | egalitarianism}} University College, London | All Souls College, Oxford}}Gilbert RyleROSEN AUTHOR-LINK=MICHAEL E. ROSEN TITLE=JERRY COHEN: AN APPRECIATION LOCATION=CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS PAGE=2, 9 January 2019, Cécile Fabre Will Kymlicka > Michael Otsuka}} Simon Caney Jonathan Wolff (philosopher)>Jonathan Wolff}} Political philosophy ethics > philosophy of history | social theory}} Distinction between a strict and lax interpretation of the difference principleFrank Vandenbroucke, Social Justice and Individual Ethics in an Open Society: Equality, Responsibility, and Incentives, Springer, 2012, p. 149. | egalitarian ethosAlexander Kaufman (ed.), Distributive Justice and Access to Advantage, Cambridge University Press, 2014, p. 52.}} Karl Marx Gilbert Ryle > Isaiah Berlin}} Will Kymlicka Jonathan Wolff (philosopher)>Jonathan Wolff Michael Otsuka > Alan Carter (philosopher) > John McMurtry}}}}Gerald Allan Cohen {{post-nominals|country=GBR|FBA}} ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|k|oÊŠ|É™|n}}; 1941–2009), known as G. A. Cohen or Jerry Cohen, was a Canadian Marxist political philosopher who held the positions of Quain Professor of Jurisprudence, University College London and Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, All Souls College, Oxford.

Life and career

Born into a communist Jewish family in Montreal, Quebec, on 14 April 1941,NEWS,weblink GA Cohen, Jane, O'Grady, 10 August 2009, The Guardian, Cohen was educated at McGill University (BA, philosophy and political science) in his home town and the University of Oxford (BPhil, philosophy) where he studied under Isaiah Berlin and Gilbert Ryle.Cohen was assistant lecturer (1963–1964), lecturer (1964–1979) then reader (1979–1984) in the Department of Philosophy at University College London, before being appointed to the Chichele chair at Oxford in 1985. Several of his students, such as Christopher Bertram, Simon Caney, Alan Carter, Cécile Fabre, Will Kymlicka, John McMurtry, David Leopold, Michael Otsuka, Seana Shiffrin, and Jonathan Wolff have gone on to be important moral and political philosophers in their own right, while another, Ricky Gervais, has pursued a successful career in comedy.Known as a proponent of analytical MarxismWEB,weblink The Labour Theory of Value and the Concept of Exploitation, and a founding member of the September Group, Cohen's 1978 work (Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence) defends an interpretation of Karl Marx's historical materialism often referred to as technological determinism by its critics.BOOK, Singer, Peter, Marx: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000, 105, 978-0-19-285405-6, In Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality, Cohen offers an extensive moral argument in favour of socialism, contrasting his views with those of John Rawls and Robert Nozick, by articulating an extensive critique of the Lockean principle of self-ownership as well as the use of that principle to defend right as well as left libertarianism. In If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich? (which covers the topic of his Gifford Lectures), Cohen addresses the question of what egalitarian political principles imply for the personal behaviour of those who subscribe to them.Cohen was close friends with Marxist political philosopher Marshall Berman.Cohen died on 5 August 2009.


  • (Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence) (1978, 2000)
  • History, Labour, and Freedom (1988)
  • BOOK, Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality, 1995, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 978-0-5214-7174-9, 612482692,
  • If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich? (2000)
  • Chapter in Dworkin and his Critics, with replies by Dworkin (2004)
  • Rescuing Justice and Equality (2008)
  • Why Not Socialism? (2009) [Trad. esp.: ¿Por qué no el socialismo?, Buenos Aires/Madrid, Katz editores, 2011, {{ISBN|978-84-92946-13-6}}]
  • On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice, and Other Essays in Political Philosophy (2011)
  • Finding Oneself in the Other (2012)
  • Lectures on the History of Moral and Political Philosophy (2013)

See also



Further reading

  • The Egalitarian Conscience: Essays in Honour of G. A. Cohen (2006); edited by Christine Sypnowich
  • {{Citation | last = Tomey | first = Simon | contribution = An interview with Jerry Cohen. | editor-last = Browning | editor-first = Gary | editor2-last = Dimova-Cookson | editor2-first = Maria | editor-last3 = Prokhovnik | editor-first3 = Raia | editorlink3 = Raia Prokhovnik | title = Dialogues with contemporary political theorists | pages = 74–85 | publisher = Palgrave Macmillan | location = Houndsmill, Basingstoke, Hampshire New York | year = 2012 | isbn = 9780230303058 }}
  • BOOK, Vrousalis, Nicholas, The Political Philosophy of G.A. Cohen,weblink Bloomsbury, 9781472532701,
  • JOURNAL, Robeyns, Ingrid, Ingrid Robeyns, On G.A. Cohen's "On the currency of egalitarian justice", Ethics (journal), Ethics, 125, 4, 1132–1135, 10.1086/680879, 10.1086/680879, July 2015, harv,
  • BOOK, Furner, James, 2018, Marx on Capitalism: The Interaction-Recognition-Antinomy Thesis,weblink Brill, 9789004323315,

External links

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