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Patrick Anderson ACF Abstract FY12

"Capitalism and the Science of History: Appleby, Marx, and Postmodernism"

2012 Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention

Joyce Appleby has written an extensive amount on the origins and development of capitalism, but her work is influenced by her belief that history is a science with at least some objectivity. She rejects Marxism as a relic of past historians with naïve beliefs about finding the laws of nature, but she also rejects postmodern criticisms of history because they undermine any chance for objectivity. Appleby's specific views about history as a science shape the way she writes about capitalism and often there are contradictions between her expressed views and her practiced methods, even to the point where she proves her opponents' are correct.