This book traces the development of Marx's ethics as they underwent various shifts and changes during different periods of his thought. In his early writings, his ethics are based on a concept of essence much like Aristotle's which Marx tries to link to a principle of universalization similar to Kant's 'categorical imperative'. In the period 1845-6 Marx abandoned this view, holding morality to be incompatible with his historical materialism. In the later writings Marx is less of a determinist, and he longer wants to reject morality. However he does want to transcend a morality of burdensome obligation and constraint so as to realize a community built upon spontaneous bonds of solidarity.