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Professor Sean Sayers

Emeritus Professor of Philosophy



Sean Sayers has written extensively on topics of Hegelian and Marxist philosophy from a Hegelian‑Marxist perspective. He has worked in the areas of social philosophy, ethics, theory of knowledge, metaphysics and logic. He has also written on Freud and psychoanalysis and is currently working on issues in aesthetics.

He studied at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and holds a PhD from the University of Kent. He has held visiting appointments in Massachusetts, Colorado, Sydney, Istanbul, Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan.  His work has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French, German, Turkish and Greek.

His books include Marx and Alienation: Essays on Hegelian Themes (2011), Plato's Republic: An Introduction (Edinburgh University Press, 1999), Marxism and Human Nature (Routledge, 1998, paperback 2007), Reality and Reason. Dialectic and the Theory of Knowledge (Blackwell, 1985), and Hegel, Marx and Dialectic: A Debate (with Richard Norman 1980, reprinted Gregg 1994). He has also co‑editedSocialism, Feminism and Philosophy: A Radical Philosophy Reader (Routledge, 1991), Socialism and Democracy (Macmillan, 1991) and Socialism and Morality (Macmillan, 1990). He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and books. He was one of the founders of the journal Radical Philosophy (1972), and of the Marx and Philosophy Society (2003). He is founder and editor in chief of Marx and Philosophy Review of Books (2010).


Professor Sayers' research interests include: Hegel, Marx, social and moral philosophy, history of philosophy.

Research Supervision

Professor Sayers is currently supervising a PhD thesis on Society and the Individual.

Other Professional Activities

Founder and Editor in Chief, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books (2010- )

Editorial Advisory Board, Current Research in Western Marxism book series, Renmin Publishing House, Beijing (2006- )

Co-founder and Organizing Committee, Marx and Philosophy Society (2004- ) (

Consulting Editor, Episteme (2002- ) (

Editorial Board, New Critical Thinking in Philosophy series, Ashgate Publishers (1999-2006)

Editorial Advisory Board, Cultural Logic: an electronic journal of Marxist theory and practice (1997- ) (

Advisory Editorial Board, Historical Materialism (1997- )

Co-founder of Radical Philosophy and member of editorial board (1972-2001); Book Reviews Editor (1993-8) (


  • Marx and Philosophy Review of Books
  • The Marx and Philosophy Society
  • Marxists internet archive
  • Radical Philosophy web site
  • Bertell Ollman's web site
  • Martha Gimenez home page
  • Marx bibliography
  • Hegel bibliography

  • Full publications list (MS Word document)
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    • 'Alienation as a Critical Concept', International Critical Thought, vol. 1 no. 3 (September 2011), pp. 287-304 (ISSN 2159-8282 print, 2159-8312 online)
    • 'Marx’, in Tom Angier ed., Key Ethical Thinkers, Continuum Press, London and New York (forthcoming)
    • 'Marx and alienation’, The Montréal Review, January 2012
    • 'MacIntyre and Modernity', in Paul Blackledge and Kelvin Knight eds., Virtue and Politics: Alasdair MacIntyre’s Revolutionary Aristotelianism (University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame IN, 2011), pp. 79-96 (ISBN 9780268022259)
    • 'Marxism and Actually Existing Socialism’ , Greek translation by Christos Kefalis, in Christos Kefalis ed.,October and our Age, Topos editions, Athens 2010, pp. 576-590 (ISBN 978-9606863851)
    • 'Religion and Politics in the Modern World', in Interpretations of Marxism: Chinese and Western, Chinese translation Qunyu Tan, Social Sciences Academic Press (China), Beijing, 2010, pp. 209-229 (ISBN 978-7-5097-1345-7)
    • 'Marxism and the Crisis of Capitalism’, trans. Meng Gaofeng, Philosophical Trends (CASS, Beijing), vol 2009 no. 5 (May 2009), pp. 19-21 (ISSN 1002-8862)
    • 'Labour in Modern Industrial Society’, in Andrew Chitty and Martin McIvor eds, Karl Marx and Contemporary Philosophy, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2009, pp. 143-158 (ISBN 978-0-230-22237-3)
    • Philosophy and Ideology: Marxism and the Role of Religion in Contemporary Politics, Marxism, Intellectuals and Politics, ed. David Bates, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York, 2007, pp. 152-168
    • Freedom and the "Realm of Necessity'', The Left-Hegelians: New Philosophical and Political Perspectives, ed. Douglas Moggach, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 2006, pp. 261-74
    • Marxist Philosophy in Britain: An Overview (pdf), Chinese translation Feng Yanli, Journal of Institute of Marxism, CASS, Beijing (forthcoming 2007)
    • 'The Concept of Labor: Marx and his Critics', Science & Society, Vol. 71, No. 4 (October 2007), pp. 431-454
    • 'Marxism And Morality', Chinese translation Qu Hongmei, Philosophical Researches [Beijing], 2007/9 (September 2007), pp. 8-12
    • Individual and Society in Marx and Hegel: Beyond the Communitarian Critique of Liberalism (pdf), Science & Society, vol. 71 no. 1 (2007), pp. 84-102
    • The "Uplifting Influence" of Work and Industry: The Philosophical Background to The Step Of Steel' (pdf) , in Serge Prokofiev, Le Pas d'Acier 1925, DVD set, IDM Ltd and AHRC, 2006 (distributed by
    • Why Work? Marxism and Human Nature (pdf), Science & Society, vol. 69 no. 4 (2005), pp. 606-16
    • 'Creative Activity and Alienation in Hegel and Marx', (pdf) Historical Materialism, vol. 11 no. 1 (2003), pp. 107-128
    • "Freedom and the "Realm of Necessity", Proceedings of the ISSEI VIII Interational Conference (Aberystwyth, July 2002), (ed.) Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe, CD ROM, ISSEI, 2003
    • The Importance of Hegel for Marx: Reply to Zarembka (pdf), Historical Materialism, no. 8 (Summer 2001), pp. 367-372
    • 'The Prospects for Socialism in the Twenty-first Century' (Chinese translation Dr Wei Xiaoping), in Gu Jiaqin (ed.), Socialism and the Twenty-first Century, Central Party Translation Bureau Publishing House, Beijing, 2000, pp. 71-8
    • Identity and Community (pdf), Journal of Social Philosophy, vol. 30 no. 1 (Spring 1999), pp. 147-60
    • Who are my Peers? The Research Assessment Exercise in Philosophy, Radical Philosophy 83 (May-June 1997), pp. 2-5
    • Progress and Social Criticism (pdf), The European Legacy: Towards New Paradigms, vol 2 no 3 (May 1997), pp. 554- 9
    • Marxismus. Ein Überblick,Marxisticsche Blätter, Heft 2-97 (March-April 1997), pp. 54-8 (translation Dieter Lohaus)
    • Marx, in Nöel Parker and Stuart Sim (eds), The A-Z Guide to Modern Social and Political Theorists (Hemel Hempstead: Prentice-Hall/Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1997), pp. 241-5
    • Engels and Materialism, in Christopher J. Arthur (ed.), Engels Today: a Centenary Appreciation, (London: Macmillan, 1996), pp. 153-172; and New York: St Martin's Press, 1996
    • Communitarianism and Moral Realism, in Jan Bransen and Marc Slors (eds), The Problematic Reality of Values (Van Gorcum: Assen, 1996), pp. 121-136
    • Dialectic and Social Criticism, Annalen der Internationalen Gesellschaft für Dialektische Philosophie - Societas Hegeliana, Band IX (1996), pp. 241-5
    • The Value of Community, Radical Philosophy 69 (Jan- Feb 1995), pp. 2-4
    • Philosophy and the Information Superhighway, Radical Philosophy 67 (Summer 1994), p. 63
    • Moral Values and Progress, New Left Review 204 (March-April 1994), pp. 67-85
    • Once More on Relative Truth: A Reply to Skillen (pdf), Radical Philosophy 64 (Summer 1993), pp.35-8
    • Economic Ethics, Etika (Brno) vol. 4 no. 1 (1992), pp. 60-8 (Czech translation R. Bures)
    • The Human Impact of the Market (pdf), in P. Heelas and P. Morris (eds), The Values of the Enterprise Culture: The Moral Debate, (Routledge: London, 1992). pp. 120-38
    • Dialectic in Western Marxism, Appendix in, Dialectics (Beijing: Beijing University Press, 1992) (Chinese translation Peng Yen-Han)
    • Introduction, D. McLellan and S. Sayers (eds), Socialism and Democracy (London: Macmillan, 1991), pp. 1-5
    • Psychoanalysis and Human Rationality, Journal of Social Philosophy, 22(2) (1991), 60-70
    • F.H. Bradley and the Concept of Relative Truth (pdf), Radical Philosophy 59 (Autumn 1991), pp. 15-20
    • Gorz on Work and Liberation, Radical Philosophy 58 (Summer 1991), pp. 16-19
    • Contradiction and Dialectic (pdf), Science & Society, vol. 55 no. 1 (Spring 1991), pp. 84-91
    • Marxism and the Dialectical Method: A Critique of G.A. Cohen (1984), reprinted in S. Sayers and P. Osborne (eds), Socialism, Feminism and Philosophy: A Radical Philosophy Reader (London: Routledge, 1990), pp. 140-68
    • Epistemology and Relativism, Annalen der Internationalen Gesellschaft für Dialektische Philosophie - Societas Hegeliana, Band VII (1990), pp. 164-8
    • Analytical Marxism and Morality, The Bulletin of Nihon Fukushi University, No. 81-2 (April 1990), pp. 127-57 (Japanese translation, H. Kishimoto)
    • Marxism and Actually Existing Socialism (pdf), in D. McLellan and S. Sayers (eds), Socialism and Morality (London: Macmillan, 1990), pp. 42-64
    • Work, Leisure and Human Needs, in C.J. Barrett and T. Winnifrith (eds), The Philosophy of Leisure (London: Macmillan, 1989), pp. 34-53
    • Analytical Marxism and Morality, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 15 (1989), pp. 81-104
    • Images of the French Revolution, Radical Philosophy 53 (Autumn 1989), pp. 50-1
    • Knowledge as a Social Phenomenon (pdf), Radical Philosophy 52 (Summer 1989), pp. 34-7
    • The Need to Work: A Perspective from Philosophy, in R.E. Pahl (ed.), On Work (Oxford: Blackwell, 1988), pp. 722-41
    • The Actual and the Rational, in D. Lamb (ed.), Hegel and Modern Philosophy (London: Croom Helm, 1987), pp. 143-60
    • The Need to Work: A Reply to Mr Higgins, in Radical Philosophy 47 (Autumn 1987), p. 48
    • The Need to Work, Radical Philosophy 46 (Summer 1987), pp. 17-26
    • Work, Leisure and Human Needs, Thesis Eleven 14 (1986), pp. 79-96
    • Mental Illness as a Moral Concept (pdf) in R. Edgley and R. Osborne (eds), The Radical Philosophy Reader (London: Verso, 1985), pp. 217-33
    • Higher and Lower Pleasures, in B. Lang, W. Sacksteder & G. Stahl (eds), The Philosopher in the Community (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1984), pp. 112-129
    • Marxism and the Dialectical Method: A Critique of G.A. Cohen (pdf), Radical Philosophy 36 (Spring, 1984), pp. 4-13
    • Materialism, Realism and the Reflection Theory, Radical Philosophy 33 (spring, 1983), pp. 16-26
    • On the Centenary of Marx's Death, Labour Herald vol.2 no.27 (March, 1983), pp. 12-13
    • Contradiction and Dialectic in the Development of Science, Science and Society (pdf), vol.45 no.4 (Winter, 1981), pp. 409-436
    • Forces of Production and Relations of Production in Socialist Society, Radical Philosophy 24 (pdf) (Spring, 1980), pp. 19-26
    • On the Marxist Dialectic (pdf), Hegel, Marx and Dialectic: A Debate. Brighton: The Harvester Press, and Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1980, pp. 1-24
    • On the Marxist Dialectic (pdf), Radical Philosophy 14 (Summer, 1976), pp. 9-19
    • Mental Illness as a Moral Concept, reprinted in Inscape: Journal of the British Association of Art Therapists 9 (Winter, 1974), pp. 1-13
    • Ordinary Language Philosophy and Radical Philosophy (pdf), Radical Philosophy 8 (Summer, 1974), pp. 36-8
    • Mental Illness as a Moral Concept, Radical Philosophy 5 (Summer, 1973), pp. 3-8
    • Towards a Radical Philosophy (pdf) Cambridge Review, vol. 94 no.2209 (October, 1972), pp. 11-16

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    Last Updated: 19/12/2013