Thread: why is DM considered a world theory?

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  1. #61
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    I'd like to see an example where it isn't based on a distortion of it; as Marx noted:
    I do agree with the quote. Dialectics as Marx understood, expressed and used I would say is not based on such distortion. The one he is talking about when he says: "My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of “the Idea,” he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of “the Idea.” With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought."

    And I note you dodged this challenge:
    I didn't "dodge" it Rosa, I simply missed it.

    Perhaps then you'd like to give us one example of this alleged 'contribution'?
    What can I say? I consider idealist thought, (chronologically) from Plato to even Hegel, to have made some contributions to human thought, and at least expressed thoughts of the times. I agree with Marx when he says "The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism – that of Feuerbach included – is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, but not as sensuous human activity, practice, not subjectively. Hence, in contradistinction to materialism, the active side was developed abstractly by idealism – which, of course, does not know real, sensuous activity as such." I agree with Marx when he says "The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel’s hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner." Should I go through every idealist thinker and show how they contributed?
    "Communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man – the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution." - Karl Marx

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  2. #62
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    Leo:

    "My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of “the Idea,” he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of “the Idea.” With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought."
    But he also added a summary of 'his method':


    "After a quotation from the preface to my 'Criticism of Political Economy,' Berlin, 1859, pp. IV-VII, where I discuss the materialistic basis of my method, the writer goes on:

    'The one thing which is of moment to Marx, is to find the law of the phenomena with whose investigation he is concerned; and not only is that law of moment to him, which governs these phenomena, in so far as they have a definite form and mutual connexion within a given historical period. Of still greater moment to him is the law of their variation, of their development, i.e., of their transition from one form into another, from one series of connexions into a different one. This law once discovered, he investigates in detail the effects in which it manifests itself in social life. Consequently, Marx only troubles himself about one thing: to show, by rigid scientific investigation, the necessity of successive determinate orders of social conditions, and to establish, as impartially as possible, the facts that serve him for fundamental starting-points. For this it is quite enough, if he proves, at the same time, both the necessity of the present order of things, and the necessity of another order into which the first must inevitably pass over; and this all the same, whether men believe or do not believe it, whether they are conscious or unconscious of it. Marx treats the social movement as a process of natural history, governed by laws not only independent of human will, consciousness and intelligence, but rather, on the contrary, determining that will, consciousness and intelligence. ... If in the history of civilisation the conscious element plays a part so subordinate, then it is self-evident that a critical inquiry whose subject-matter is civilisation, can, less than anything else, have for its basis any form of, or any result of, consciousness. That is to say, that not the idea, but the material phenomenon alone can serve as its starting-point. Such an inquiry will confine itself to the confrontation and the comparison of a fact, not with ideas, but with another fact. For this inquiry, the one thing of moment is, that both facts be investigated as accurately as possible, and that they actually form, each with respect to the other, different momenta of an evolution; but most important of all is the rigid analysis of the series of successions, of the sequences and concatenations in which the different stages of such an evolution present themselves. But it will be said, the general laws of economic life are one and the same, no matter whether they are applied to the present or the past. This Marx directly denies. According to him, such abstract laws do not exist. On the contrary, in his opinion every historical period has laws of its own.... As soon as society has outlived a given period of development, and is passing over from one given stage to another, it begins to be subject also to other laws. In a word, economic life offers us a phenomenon analogous to the history of evolution in other branches of biology. The old economists misunderstood the nature of economic laws when they likened them to the laws of physics and chemistry. A more thorough analysis of phenomena shows that social organisms differ among themselves as fundamentally as plants or animals. Nay, one and the same phenomenon falls under quite different laws in consequence of the different structure of those organisms as a whole, of the variations of their individual organs, of the different conditions in which those organs function, &c. Marx, e.g., denies that the law of population is the same at all times and in all places. He asserts, on the contrary, that every stage of development has its own law of population. ... With the varying degree of development of productive power, social conditions and the laws governing them vary too. Whilst Marx sets himself the task of following and explaining from this point of view the economic system established by the sway of capital, he is only formulating, in a strictly scientific manner, the aim that every accurate investigation into economic life must have. The scientific value of such an inquiry lies in the disclosing of the special laws that regulate the origin, existence, development, death of a given social organism and its replacement by another and higher one. And it is this value that, in point of fact, Marx's book has.'
    "Whilst the writer pictures what he takes to be actually my method, in this striking and [as far as concerns my own application of it] generous way, what else is he picturing but the dialectic method?" [Marx, 'Capital' (Penguin edition, 1976), pp.101-02.]
    In the passage that Marx quotes not a single Hegelian concept is to be found (no "contradictions", no change of "quantity into quality", no "negation of the negation", no "unity and identity of opposites", no "interconnected Totality"), and yet Marx calls this the "dialectic Method", and says of it that it is "my method". So, Marx's "method" has had Hegel completely excised --, except for the odd phrase or two here and there with which he merely "coquetted". In that case, Marx's 'dialectic method' more closely resembles that of Aristotle and Kant.

    There is thus no 'rational kernel' to Hegel's dialectic.

    No wonder Marx waved it goodbye.

    What can I say? I consider idealist thought, (chronologically) from Plato to even Hegel, to have made some contributions to human thought, and at least expressed thoughts of the times. I agree with Marx when he says "The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism – that of Feuerbach included – is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, but not as sensuous human activity, practice, not subjectively. Hence, in contradistinction to materialism, the active side was developed abstractly by idealism – which, of course, does not know real, sensuous activity as such." I agree with Marx when he says "The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel’s hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner." Should I go through every idealist thinker and show how they contributed?
    I said just one would do.

    And good luck finding it...
  3. #63
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    In the passage that Marx quotes not a single Hegelian concept is to be found (no "contradictions", no change of "quantity into quality", no "negation of the negation", no "unity and identity of opposites", no "interconnected Totality"), and yet Marx calls this the "dialectic Method", and says of it that it is "my method".
    Certain terms not being in a certain passage doesn't really prove anything; it doesn't even prove that the concepts that aren't included aren't used even in that passage only. The fact is though that Marx does call dialectic method "my method".

    So, Marx's "method" has had Hegel completely excised --, except for the odd phrase or two here and there with which he merely "coquetted".
    Well in a way yes, it "turns Hegel upside down" as Marx says, and of course Marx was not a Hegelian after he grew out of it. There are clearly some influences and it is not a secret that Marx did respect Hegel a lot despite arguing strongly against Hegel's mysticism. We can at least say that there is not a trace (or very little trace) of Hegel's mysticism.

    In that case, Marx's 'dialectic method' more closely resembles that of Aristotle and Kant.
    With Kant I can indeed see where you are coming from - and of course Kant was influential on Hegel's dialectics as well. With Aristotle, I don't really see lots of similarities.

    I said just one would do.
    You can take up that Marx quote about Hegel if you want then, that would count as one example.
    "Communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man – the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution." - Karl Marx

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  4. #64
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    Leo:

    Certain terms not being in a certain passage doesn't really prove anything; it doesn't even prove that the concepts that aren't included aren't used even in that passage only. The fact is though that Marx does call dialectic method "my method".
    1) It does when Marx pointedly said that he would only be 'coquetting' with Hegelian terms in Das Kapital -- in other words, he would be using them non-seriously.

    2) It also does when the only method Marx endorsed as his method contains not one atom of Hegel.

    3) Indeed the dialectic is his method, but as I pointed out, when every trace of Hegel has been removed, Marx's method resembles the classic dialectic of Aristotle and Kant, not Hegel. So, there is no rational core to Hegel's 'dialectic'. To up-end Hegel is to crush his head.

    There are clearly some influences and it is not a secret that Marx did respect Hegel a lot despite arguing strongly against Hegel's mysticism. We can at least say that there is not a trace (or very little trace) of Hegel's mysticism.
    In his early work, you are right, but not in Das Kapital. So, by the time he wrote Das Kapital, not only has Hegel's mysticism gone, so has Hegel, too, and in his entirety. What few traces there of that sub-logical and incompetent bumbler in Das Kapital are a few bits of jargon, which Marx confines to 'coquetting'.

    And sure, Marx thought Hegel was a great thinker, but in Das Kapital he pointedly put that comment in the past tense. If he had maintained that opinion in Das Kapital, he would not have 'coquetted' with Hegelian terms there, but would have treated then with respect.

    Finally, I think Plato, for example, is a great (even a 'mighty') thinker, but I also disagree with everything he says, so much so that I too use Platonic terms in my essays non-seriously.

    Same with Marx and Hegel.

    With Aristotle, I don't really see lots of similarities.
    Loads of them.

    Try these:

    http://74.125.77.132/search?q=cache:...lnk&cd=1&gl=uk

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=r...um=2&ct=result

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=L...um=6&ct=result

    You can take up that Marx quote about Hegel if you want then, that would count as one example.
    But we have already seen that this is an empty example. In fact, Marx had to ditch Hegel completely, and return to the Historical Materialism of Kant and the Scottish Historical Materialists, and also return to Aristotle, too, to make his theory work
  5. #65
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    1) It does when Marx pointedly said that he would only be 'coquetting' with Hegelian terms in Das Kapital -- in other words, he would be using them non-seriously.
    "Non-seriously"? What do you mean? You mean as a joke or something?

    2) It also does when the only method Marx endorsed as his method contains not one atom of Hegel.
    Marx himself obviously disagrees on that. I certainly don't think he was a Hegelian, but he was clearly influenced by Hegel all his life to an extent. I am not even saying all this influence is good even but this is a fact.

    3) Indeed the dialectic is his method,
    OK, we agree on that then.

    but as I pointed out, when every trace of Hegel has been removed, Marx's method resembles the classic dialectic of Aristotle and Kant, not Hegel.
    As I said, I certainly do see the point about Kant, on the other hand Kant never claimed to be using dialectics let alone "classic dialectics" (the term classic dialectics more resembles Socrates and Plato to me to be honest). As for Aristotle as I said I am not convinced.

    In his early work, you are right, but not in Das Kapital. So, by the time he wrote Das Kapital, not only has Hegel's mysticism gone, so has Hegel, too, and in his entirety. What few traces there of that sub-logical and incompetent bumbler in Das Kapital are a few bits of jargon, which Marx confines to 'coquetting'.
    Ah, the old distinction between young Marx and mature Marx - I don't buy it to be honest, methodologically they are one and what they say are completely connected. In any case, there is some Hegelian terminology borrowed and used (albeit for completely different purposes for what Hegel intended to be, but Marx's entire relation with Hegel was this to begin with: twisting and using what Hegel said for completely different purposes, perhaps to the point of allowing it to be perceived that he "removed every trace of Hegel") as well as the commonly repeated thing about Das Kapital itself, in it's structure, being modeled after Hegel's work.

    And sure, Marx thought Hegel was a great thinker, but in Das Kapital he pointedly put that comment in the past tense.
    Well, Hegel was dead after all.

    Finally, I think Plato, for example, is a great (even a 'mighty') thinker
    Yes, he was.

    Yet from an admittedly brief look, I saw all these form a resemblance between their ideas in the ethical and political, not in the methodological sense (and being especially skeptical of Aristotle's ideas about ethics and politics, I am rather dubious about the accuracy of what is argued as well).

    But we have already seen that this is an empty example. In fact, Marx had to ditch Hegel completely, and return to the Historical Materialism of Kant and the Scottish Historical Materialists, and also return to Aristotle, too, to make his theory work
    I don't think you can call Kant or the Scottish political economists "historical materialists". Especially with Kant, the man considered himself to be an idealist! I am not saying that either weren't inspirational or influential for Marx or shouldn't be as such today for marxists even, but historical materialism refers to a specific method after all.
    "Communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man – the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution." - Karl Marx

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  6. #66
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    Leo:

    What do you mean? You mean as a joke or something?
    No, as I said: not seriously. Marx was in the process of waving good-bye to Hegel, and these were his parting salvos in that direction. These days we put such terms in 'scare quotes'.

    Marx himself obviously disagrees on that. I certainly don't think he was a Hegelian, but he was clearly influenced by Hegel all his life to an extent. I am not even saying all this influence is good even but this is a fact.
    What does he 'disagree' with? The review? Well he not only quoted it, he endorsed it.

    Once more, I agree, Marx was influenced by Hegel in his younger days, but by the time he got to Das Kapital, the best he could do was 'coquette' with a few bits of Hegelian jargon. [But see below.]

    As I said, I certainly do see the point about Kant, on the other hand Kant never claimed to be using dialectics let alone "classic dialectics" (the term classic dialectics more resembles Socrates and Plato to me to be honest). As for Aristotle as I said I am not convinced.
    Then, do the reading, and get back to us.

    Ah, the old distinction between young Marx and mature Marx - I don't buy it to be honest, methodologically they are one and what they say are completely connected. In any case, there is some Hegelian terminology borrowed and used (albeit for completely different purposes for what Hegel intended to be, but Marx's entire relation with Hegel was this to begin with: twisting and using what Hegel said for completely different purposes, perhaps to the point of allowing it to be perceived that he "removed every trace of Hegel") as well as the commonly repeated thing about Das Kapital itself, in it's structure, being modelled after Hegel's work.
    1) Are you trying to say that it is not possible that Marx changed his mind at some stage in his life? [But, we already know he did -- after reading Feuerbach, for example, he dropped Hegelian idealism.]

    2) As for Hegelian terms, Marx himself (not me) tells us that he merely 'coquetted' with them in Das Kapital.

    3) But, anyway, we needn't speculate about whether Marx dropped Hegel or not, for Marx himself indicated he did when he included that review of his book, calling it 'his method', in which there are absolutely no traces of Hegel.

    Well, Hegel was dead after all.
    But, the past tense refers to his being a pupil of that 'mighty thinker', not to Hegel's mortal state.

    For example, I can now say that I am (present tense) a pupil of Frege, even though he died over 80 years ago. Now, if I put this in the past tense, that would imply I no longer considered myself his pupil. Marx put his identification with Hegel in just such a past tense. And that explains why he included that summary of 'his method' (in which there is no trace of Hegel) and why he merely 'coquetted' with Hegelian jargon. He would not have treated Hegel that way if he still regarded himself as a pupil of Hegel.

    Yet from an admittedly brief look, I saw all these form a resemblance between their ideas in the ethical and political, not in the methodological sense (and being especially skeptical of Aristotle's ideas about ethics and politics, I am rather dubious about the accuracy of what is argued as well).
    And they link this to the labour theory of value -- which is a core HM principle, Also, they link it to Aristotle's idea that human beings are political animals -- also an HM concept.

    Scott Meikle sets out the evidence here:

    Meikle, S. (1985), Essentialism In The Thought of Karl Marx (Open Court)

    As Wikipedia notes:

    Of particular importance is Hegel's appropriation of Aristotle's organicist and essentialist categories in the light of Kant's transcendental turn.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxist_theory#cite_ref-1

    Hegel was heavily influenced in all areas of his thought by Aristotle; Marx just cut the gobbledygook, and returned to the mother lode in Aristotle. He is on record, too, saying that Aristotle was his favourite ancient philosopher.

    I don't think you can call Kant or the Scottish political economists "historical materialists". Especially with Kant, the man considered himself to be an idealist! I am not saying that either weren't inspirational or influential for Marx or shouldn't be as such today for marxists even, but historical materialism refers to a specific method after all.
    These aren't my terms, but those of others:

    Meek, R. (1967a), Economics And Ideology And Other Essays (Chapman Hall).

    --------, (1967b), 'The Scottish Contribution To Marxist Sociology', in Meek (1967a), pp.34-50.

    Wood, A, (1998), 'Kant's Historical Materialism' in Kneller and Axinn, Chapter Five.

    --------, (1999), Kant's Ethical Thought (Cambridge University Press).

    Kneller, J., and Axinn, S, (1998), Autonomy And Community: Readings In Contemporary Kantian Social Philosophy (State University of New York Press).

    [Allen Wood is also a Marxist. So was Prof Meek.]
  7. #67
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    No, as I said: not seriously. Marx was in the process of waving good-bye to Hegel, and these were his parting salvos in that direction. These days we put such terms in 'scare quotes'.
    Hmm okay I see what you mean.

    What does he 'disagree' with? The review? Well he not only quoted it, he endorsed it.

    Once more, I agree, Marx was influenced by Hegel in his younger days, but by the time he got to Das Kapital, the best he could do was 'coquette' with a few bits of Hegelian jargon. [But see below.]
    Which to me shows that Hegel influenced Marx's thinking but that Marx was not a Hegelian in any way.

    1) Are you trying to say that it is not possible that Marx changed his mind at some stage in his life? [But, we already know he did -- after reading Feuerbach, for example, he dropped Hegelian idealism.]
    No, I am saying that once established, he kept using the same methodology.

    2) As for Hegelian terms, Marx himself (not me) tells us that he merely 'coquetted' with them in Das Kapital.
    Well yes, he paid his respects so to speak.

    3) But, anyway, we needn't speculate about whether Marx dropped Hegel or not, for Marx himself indicated he did when he included that review of his book, calling it 'his method', in which there are absolutely no traces of Hegel.
    I don't think he has to be a Hegelian going on about Hegelian concepts to have traces of Hegel. He has traces of Hegel in his methodology (and not much but nevertheless), doesn't have to repeat them in his terminology though.

    2) As for Hegelian terms, Marx himself (not me) tells us that he merely 'coquetted' with them in Das Kapital.
    Well yes, but I don't necessarily give the same meaning to this that you do. One could give it a positive meaning as much, even more so than the negative one you are giving it. Again I am not saying Marx was an Hegelian, this term basically proves that while Marx was not a Hegelian, he was paying respects to Hegel for influencing his methodology.

    3) But, anyway, we needn't speculate about whether Marx dropped Hegel or not, for Marx himself indicated he did when he included that review of his book, calling it 'his method', in which there are absolutely no traces of Hegel.
    Well, he says he reversed the relation Hegel sees in between thought and matter. This is "a trace of Hegel". Had he "dropped" Hegel completely he'd be saying there is no relation between thought and matter. He summarizes his difference quite clearly: To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of 'the Idea,' he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of 'the Idea.' With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought."

    But, the past tense refers to his being a pupil of that 'mighty thinker', not to Hegel's mortal state.
    Certainly. Marx being a pupil of Hegel still would mean that he would be a Hegelian. He clearly wasn't.

    And they link this to the labour theory of value -- which is a core HM principle
    They can link things as much as they want: Aristotle did not have a labour theory of value though. The first fella who came up with it is Ibn Haldun.

    Also, they link it to Aristotle's idea that human beings are political animals -- also an HM concept.
    Doesn't Marx describe human beings as laboring animals, animal laborans?

    In any case though, these too are similarities in the details and aspects of Marx's thinking, but not methodological similarities.

    Hegel was heavily influenced in all areas of his thought by Aristotle; Marx just cut the gobbledygook, and returned to the mother lode in Aristotle. He is on record, too, saying that Aristotle was his favourite ancient philosopher.
    While I don't think Marx was too influenced by ancient philosophy to begin with, he certainly paid more attention to Epicurus than Aristotle, writing a major study about him. Of course it is not unnatural for him to be fond of Aristotle too, the guy was rather similar to Marx himself, a freaking writing machine.

    These aren't my terms, but those of others:
    Fair enough but still doesn't make any difference.

    I would be interested in how you'd argue that, especially about Kant though. Maybe you could write something about it in this thread: http://www.revleft.org/vb/showthread.php?t=100146
    "Communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man – the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution." - Karl Marx

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    Leo:

    Which to me shows that Hegel influenced Marx's thinking but that Marx was not a Hegelian in any way.
    Indeed, and Hegel's influence halted at or about the time Marx write Das Kapital.

    No, I am saying that once established, he kept using the same methodology.
    But, Marx indicated that he had changed this 'methodology' by the time he wrote Das Kapital.

    I don't think he has to be a Hegelian going on about Hegelian concepts to have traces of Hegel. He has traces of Hegel in his methodology (and not much but nevertheless), doesn't have to repeat them in his terminology though.
    I nowhere said he was a 'Hegelian'; what I said is that we need not speculate since Marx helpfully added a summary of 'his method' from which every trace of Hegel had been removed. So, this new method owes nothing to Hegel.

    Unless you can show otherwise.

    Well yes, but I don't necessarily give the same meaning to this that you do. One could give it a positive meaning as much, even more so than the negative one you are giving it. Again I am not saying Marx was an Hegelian, this term basically proves that while Marx was not a Hegelian, he was paying respects to Hegel for influencing his methodology.
    In that case, your interpetation will have to ignore the summary of 'his method' that he endorsed which contains not one atom of Hegel, or his 'method'.

    Well, he says he reversed the relation Hegel sees in between thought and matter. This is "a trace of Hegel". Had he "dropped" Hegel completely he'd be saying there is no relation between thought and matter. He summarizes his difference quite clearly: To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of 'the Idea,' he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of 'the Idea.' With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought."
    Not so, this is a return to Aristotle.

    Hegel had mystified Aristotle and Kant, Marx simply indicated that he rejected this. So he is not using Hegel's method, just signalling his return to Aristotle.

    Aristotle did not have a labour theory of value though. The first fella who came up with it is Ibn Haldun.
    Maybe so, but the seeds of the labour theory of value are in Aristotle:

    http://www.economyprofessor.com/econ...y-of-value.php

    That however in the form of commodity values all labours are expressed as equal human labour and therefore as of equal worth could not be read by Aristotle out of the form of value because Greek society was based on slave labour and therefore had as its natural basis the inequality of people and their labour powers. The secret of the expression of value, the equality and equal worth of all labours because and insofar as they are human labour in general, can only be deciphered once the concept of human equality has the firmness of a popular prejudice. This, however, is only possible in a society in which the commodity form is the general form of the product of labour and therefore also the relation of people to each other as commodity owners is the predominant social relation. Aristotle's genius shines precisely in the fact that he discovers in the expression of value of commodities a relationship of equality. Only the historical limit of the society in which he lived prevented him from finding out in what this relation of equality consisted 'in truth'. (Das Kapital Vol. 1 MEW23:74 translation my own ME)
    Bold added.

    Quoted from here:

    http://192.220.96.165/untpltcl/exchvljs.html

    From Rubin's history:

    We consider the following passage in Capital to be crucial for an understanding of the ideas of Marx which have been presented: "There was, however, an important fact which prevented Aristotle from seeing that, to attribute value to commodities, is merely a mode of expressing all labor as equal human labor, and consequently as labor of equal quality. Greek society was founded upon slavery, and had, therefore, for its natural basis, the inequality of men and of their labor-powers. The secret of the expression of value, namely, that all kinds of labor are equal and equivalent, because, and so far as they are human labor in general, cannot be deciphered, until the notion of human equality has already acquired the fixity of a popular prejudice. This, however, is possible only in a society in which the great mass of the produce of labor takes the form of commodities, in which, consequently, the dominant relation between man and man, is that of owners of commodities" (C., I, pp. 59-60). [6] The equality of the autonomous and independent commodity producers is the foundation for the equality of the exchanged goods. This is the basic characteristic of the commodity economy, of its "cell structure," so to speak. The theory of value examines the process of formation of the productive unity called a social economy from separate, one might say independent, cells. It is not without reason that Marx wrote, in the preface to the first edition of the first volume of Capital, that the "commodity form of the product of labor or the form of value of the commodity is the form of the economic cell of bourgeois society." This cell structure of the commodity society represents, in itself, the totality of equal, formally independent, private economic units.

    In the cited passage on Aristotle, Marx emphasizes that in slave society the concept of value could not be deduced from "the form of value itself," i.e., from the material expression of the equality of exchanged commodities. The mystery of value can only be grasped from the characteristics of the commodity economy. One should not be astonished that critics who missed the sociological character of Marx's theory of value should have interpreted the cited passage without discernment. According to Dietzel, Marx "was guided by the ethical axiom of equality." This "ethical foundation is displayed in the passage where Marx explains the shortcomings of Aristotle's theory of value by pointing out that the natural basis of Greek society was the inequality among people and among their labor-powers." [7]Dietzel does not understand that Marx is not dealing with an ethical postulate of equality, but with the equality of commodity producers as a basic social fact of the commodity economy. We repeat, not equality in the sense of equal distribution of material goods, but in the sense of independence and autonomy among economic agents who organize production.

    If Dietzel transforms the society of equal commodity producers from an actual fact into an ethical postulate, Croce sees in the principle of equality a theoretically conceived type of society thought up by Marx on the basis of theoretical considerations and for the purpose of contrast and comparison with the capitalist society, which is based on inequality. The purpose of this comparison is to explain the specific characteristics of the capitalist society. The equality of commodity producers is not an ethical ideal but a theoretically conceived measure, a standard with which we measure capitalist society. Croce recalls the passage where Marx says that the nature of value can only be explained in a society where the belief in the equality of people has acquired the force of a popular prejudice. [8] Croce thinks that Marx, in order to understand value in a capitalist society, took as a type, as a theoretical standard, a different (concrete) value, namely that which would be possessed by goods which can be multiplied by labor in a society without the imperfections of capitalist society, and in which labor power would not be a commodity. From this, Croce derives the following conclusion on the logical properties of Marx's theory of value. "Marx's labor-value is not only a logical generalization, it is also a fact conceived and postulated as typical, i.e., something more than a mere logical concept."
    More here:

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/rubin/value/ch10.htm

    See also:

    http://cas.umkc.edu/ECON/Oeconomicus...0IX/Avsar1.pdf

    Leo:

    While I don't think Marx was too influenced by ancient philosophy to begin with, he certainly paid more attention to Epicurus than Aristotle, writing a major study about him. Of course it is not unnatural for him to be fond of Aristotle too, the guy was rather similar to Marx himself, a freaking writing machine.
    And yet he quotes Aristotle across eight pages in Das Kapital, and Epicurus not once.

    Here are a few of them:

    The two latter peculiarities of the equivalent form will become more intelligible if we go back to the great thinker who was the first to analyse so many forms, whether of thought, society, or Nature, and amongst them also the form of value. I mean Aristotle.

    In the first place, he clearly enunciates that the money form of commodities is only the further development of the simple form of value – i.e., of the expression of the value of one commodity in some other commodity taken at random; for he says:

    5 beds = 1 house – (clinai pente anti oiciaς)

    is not to be distinguished from

    5 beds = so much money. – (clinai pente anti ... oson ai pente clinai)

    He further sees that the value relation which gives rise to this expression makes it necessary that the house should qualitatively be made the equal of the bed, and that, without such an equalisation, these two clearly different things could not be compared with each other as commensurable quantities. “Exchange,” he says, “cannot take place without equality, and equality not without commensurability". (out isothς mh oushς snmmetriaς). Here, however, he comes to a stop, and gives up the further analysis of the form of value. “It is, however, in reality, impossible (th men oun alhqeia adunaton), that such unlike things can be commensurable” – i.e., qualitatively equal. Such an equalisation can only be something foreign to their real nature, consequently only “a makeshift for practical purposes.”

    Aristotle therefore, himself, tells us what barred the way to his further analysis; it was the absence of any concept of value. What is that equal something, that common substance, which admits of the value of the beds being expressed by a house? Such a thing, in truth, cannot exist, says Aristotle. And why not? Compared with the beds, the house does represent something equal to them, in so far as it represents what is really equal, both in the beds and the house. And that is – human labour.

    There was, however, an important fact which prevented Aristotle from seeing that, to attribute value to commodities, is merely a mode of expressing all labour as equal human labour, and consequently as labour of equal quality. Greek society was founded upon slavery, and had, therefore, for its natural basis, the inequality of men and of their labour powers. The secret of the expression of value, namely, that all kinds of labour are equal and equivalent, because, and so far as they are human labour in general, cannot be deciphered, until the notion of human equality has already acquired the fixity of a popular prejudice. This, however, is possible only in a society in which the great mass of the produce of labour takes the form of commodities, in which, consequently, the dominant relation between man and man, is that of owners of commodities. The brilliancy of Aristotle’s genius is shown by this alone, that he discovered, in the expression of the value of commodities, a relation of equality. The peculiar conditions of the society in which he lived, alone prevented him from discovering what, “in truth,” was at the bottom of this equality....
    MECW, Volume 35, Capital Volume One, pp.69-70. Bold added.

    Notice, no past tense when he calls Aristotle a 'great thinker', and that his work is that of 'genius'. I do not think he ever described Hegel that way. Lenin did, but not Marx. 'Mighty thinker' is the best we get.

    And here:

    If a giant thinker like Aristotle erred in his appreciation of slave labour, why should a dwarf economist like Bastiat be right in his appreciation of wage labour?
    Ibid., p.92.

    “For two-fold is the use of every object.... The one is peculiar to the object as such, the other is not, as a sandal which may be worn, and is also exchangeable. Both are uses of the sandal, for even he who exchanges the sandal for the money or food he is in want of, makes use of the sandal as a sandal. But not in its natural way. For it has not been made for the sake of being exchanged.” (Aristoteles, “De Rep.” l. i. c. 9.)
    Ibid., p.96.

    He quotes him again at length on pages 163, 175, 331 (where he notes that Aristotle called 'man' a politcal animal), and then on page 411 we find this:

    “If,” dreamed Aristotle, the greatest thinker of antiquity, “if every tool, when summoned, or even of its own accord, could do the work that befits it, just as the creations of Daedalus moved of themselves, or the tripods of Hephaestos went of their own accord to their sacred work, if the weavers’ shuttles were to weave of themselves, then there would be no need either of apprentices for the master workers, or of slaves for the lords.”
    Maybe I'll write something on Kant -- when I have time. I am just putting the finishing touches to a 130,000 word essay, which is already ten days overdue.
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    Apologies, I didn't have time to respond to this thread:

    Indeed, and Hegel's influence halted at or about the time Marx write Das Kapital.
    I am not convinced, I don't think that quote shows that either.

    But, Marx indicated that he had changed this 'methodology' by the time he wrote Das Kapital.
    This is quite a big thing to say since it means that Marx's methodology before a certain point basically "marxist". It is evidently untrue, Marx's methodology remains the same - but of course constantly developing - methodology in more or less all his work, even before he was fully a communist.

    In that case, your interpetation will have to ignore the summary of 'his method' that he endorsed which contains not one atom of Hegel, or his 'method'.
    Well, lets let the man speak for himself: The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel’s hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner. With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.

    Marx says it quite clearly whether you like it or not, and denying this reality doesn't help the point you are making.

    Not so, this is a return to Aristotle.
    No it isn't though, Aristotle's understanding of the relation between thought and matter is completely apart from that of Marx. Aristotle's conception, what is called universalia in rebus, basically is in the same school with Plato's conceptions later called universalia ante rem. Marx's conception stands opposed to the understanding of both Aristotle and Plato on this, and is in line with the tradition of universalia post rem, an ancient representative of which would be Antisthenes rather than Aristotle. It is of course telling how Plato and Aristotle's mystical conceptions on this question dominating medieval philosophy and represented by the likes of Augustinus, Boetius and Thomas Aquinas were challenged by the likes of William of Ockham and Roscelinius near the end of the middle ages, in a way signalling the beginning of the renassaince.

    Maybe so, but the seeds of the labour theory of value are in Aristotle:
    You have a point there.

    And yet he quotes Aristotle across eight pages in Das Kapital, and Epicurus not once.
    Well yes, then again Epicurus doesn't really have much to do with economics and Marx had already written two studies on him.

    Notice, no past tense when he calls Aristotle a 'great thinker', and that his work is that of 'genius'. I do not think he ever described Hegel that way. Lenin did, but not Marx. 'Mighty thinker' is the best we get.
    I don't think the degree of praises Marx made on different philosophers has got much to do with the point, what you are making is a sematic point. There is of course nothing surprising about Marx quoting Aritotle several times since he made a point about the connections he saw between what Aristotle said and his economics.

    Aristotle, the greatest thinker of antiquity
    Considering that Aristotle is the philosopher who has the highest amount of works that survived so that it seems as if the bastard wrote about every subject imaginable, this is an understandable comment.
    "Communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man – the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution." - Karl Marx

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    Leo:

    I am not convinced, I don't think that quote shows that either.
    Ok, but you will admit that my interpretation is viable.

    Plus, it absolves Marx of involvement with a theory that implies change is impossible!

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...5&postcount=54

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...6&postcount=55

    This is quite a big thing to say since it means that Marx's methodology before a certain point basically "marxist". It is evidently untrue, Marx's methodology remains the same - but of course constantly developing - methodology in more or less all his work, even before he was fully a communist.
    So you say, but Marx indicated in Das Kapital that it had changed.

    Well, lets let the man speak for himself: The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel’s hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner. With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.
    Indeed, let him speak for himself, so we need not speculate here:

    "After a quotation from the preface to my 'Criticism of Political Economy,' Berlin, 1859, pp. IV-VII, where I discuss the materialistic basis of my method, the writer goes on:*

    'The one thing which is of moment to Marx, is to find the law of the phenomena with whose investigation he is concerned; and not only is that law of moment to him, which governs these phenomena, in so far as they have a definite form and mutual connexion within a given historical period. Of still greater moment to him is the law of their variation, of their development, i.e., of their transition from one form into another, from one series of connexions into a different one. This law once discovered, he investigates in detail the effects in which it manifests itself in social life. Consequently, Marx only troubles himself about one thing: to show, by rigid scientific investigation, the necessity of successive determinate orders of social conditions, and to establish, as impartially as possible, the facts that serve him for fundamental starting-points. For this it is quite enough, if he proves, at the same time, both the necessity of the present order of things, and the necessity of another order into which the first must inevitably pass over; and this all the same, whether men believe or do not believe it, whether they are conscious or unconscious of it. Marx treats the social movement as a process of natural history, governed by laws not only independent of human will, consciousness and intelligence, but rather, on the contrary, determining that will, consciousness and intelligence. ... If in the history of civilisation the conscious element plays a part so subordinate, then it is self-evident that a critical inquiry whose subject-matter is civilisation, can, less than anything else, have for its basis any form of, or any result of, consciousness. That is to say, that not the idea, but the material phenomenon alone can serve as its starting-point. Such an inquiry will confine itself to the confrontation and the comparison of a fact, not with ideas, but with another fact. For this inquiry, the one thing of moment is, that both facts be investigated as accurately as possible, and that they actually form, each with respect to the other, different momenta of an evolution; but most important of all is the rigid analysis of the series of successions, of the sequences and concatenations in which the different stages of such an evolution present themselves. But it will be said, the general laws of economic life are one and the same, no matter whether they are applied to the present or the past. This Marx directly denies. According to him, such abstract laws do not exist. On the contrary, in his opinion every historical period has laws of its own.... As soon as society has outlived a given period of development, and is passing over from one given stage to another, it begins to be subject also to other laws. In a word, economic life offers us a phenomenon analogous to the history of evolution in other branches of biology. The old economists misunderstood the nature of economic laws when they likened them to the laws of physics and chemistry. A more thorough analysis of phenomena shows that social organisms differ among themselves as fundamentally as plants or animals. Nay, one and the same phenomenon falls under quite different laws in consequence of the different structure of those organisms as a whole, of the variations of their individual organs, of the different conditions in which those organs function, &c. Marx, e.g., denies that the law of population is the same at all times and in all places. He asserts, on the contrary, that every stage of development has its own law of population. ... With the varying degree of development of productive power, social conditions and the laws governing them vary too. Whilst Marx sets himself the task of following and explaining from this point of view the economic system established by the sway of capital, he is only formulating, in a strictly scientific manner, the aim that every accurate investigation into economic life must have. The scientific value of such an inquiry lies in the disclosing of the special laws that regulate the origin, existence, development, death of a given social organism and its replacement by another and higher one. And it is this value that, in point of fact, Marx's book has.'

    "Whilst the writer pictures what he takes to be actually my method, in this striking and [as far as concerns my own application of it] generous way, what else is he picturing but the dialectic method?" [Marx (1976), pp.101-02. Bold emphases added.]
    You will note that Marx calls this the 'dialectic method', and 'his method', but it is also clear that it bears no relation to the sort of dialectics comrades usually attribute to Marx, for in it there is not one ounce of Hegel -- no quantity turning into quality, no contradictions, no negation of the negation, no unities of opposites, no totality...

    So, Marx's method has had Hegel totally extirpated. For Marx, putting Hegel on 'his feet' is to crush his head, and we find that the 'rational kernel' is empty.

    And of the few terms Marx uses of Hegel's in Das Kapital, he tells us this:

    "and even, here and there in the chapter on the theory of value, coquetted with the mode of expression peculiar to him."
    So, the 'rational core' of the dialectic has not one atom of Hegel in it, and Marx merely 'coquetted' with a few bits of Hegelian jargon in Das Kapital.

    That is hardly a ringing endorsement of this mystical theory.

    No it isn't though, Aristotle's understanding of the relation between thought and matter is completely apart from that of Marx. Aristotle's conception, what is called universalia in rebus, basically is in the same school with Plato's conceptions later called universalia ante rem. Marx's conception stands opposed to the understanding of both Aristotle and Plato on this, and is in line with the tradition of universalia post rem, an ancient representative of which would be Antisthenes rather than Aristotle. It is of course telling how Plato and Aristotle's mystical conceptions on this question dominating medieval philosophy and represented by the likes of Augustinus, Boetius and Thomas Aquinas were challenged by the likes of William of Ockham and Roscelinius near the end of the middle ages, in a way signalling the beginning of the renassaince.
    Well, I do not wish to take issue with all this here (but the argument is not as clear cut as you would have it -- I can find no reference in Marx that supports this view of yours), but even if you were right, I am not sure what this has to do with the issue at hand. I nowhere said Marx fully agreed with Aristotle.

    I don't think the degree of praises Marx made on different philosophers has got much to do with the point, what you are making is a sematic point. There is of course nothing surprising about Marx quoting Aritotle several times since he made a point about the connections he saw between what Aristotle said and his economics.
    Maybe so, maybe not, but the point is that Marx was happy to wave goodbye to Hegel in Das Kapital, hence his use of the past tense, and his dismissal of Hegelian jargon as a joke (i.e., something with which he 'coquetted').

    Considering that Aristotle is the philosopher who has the highest amount of works that survived so that it seems as if the bastard wrote about every subject imaginable, this is an understandable comment.
    I am not sure what quantity has got to do with this. Are you suggesting that Marx was that superficial?
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    Marx should've agreed with Aristotle on demarchy vs. electoralism (the basis of modern-day republicanism). At least then his critique of the Paris Commune would have been stronger.
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)
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    Ok, but you will admit that my interpretation is viable.
    Yes, it is viable but I am not convinced nevertheless.

    Plus, it absolves Marx of involvement with a theory that implies change is impossible!
    Well, I don't think we need to push things that hard in order to distance Marx from the gross distorted Stalinist understanding of Engels' approach to the question, which in its own turn was rather dogmatic and confused, while he of course did have some points.

    So you say, but Marx indicated in Das Kapital that it had changed.
    That's not how I read it. He is talking about his method, he is not saying that he changed his method.

    You will note that Marx calls this the 'dialectic method', and 'his method', but it is also clear that it bears no relation to the sort of dialectics comrades usually attribute to Marx, for in it there is not one ounce of Hegel -- no quantity turning into quality, no contradictions, no negation of the negation, no unities of opposites, no totality...
    It can actually be argued that all these sort of things are indeed used in Das Kapital in Marx's arguements without being particularly mentioning them. On the other hand I would say that the main contribution of Hegel to Marx's method, that is seeing things not just in what they areat the moment, but historically, in what they were and what they will become, seeing things with perspective, remains.

    For Marx, putting Hegel on 'his feet' is to crush his head
    I'm sorry but again I am not convinced, putting something on it's doesn't mean crushing that things head. We've all read how Marx behaved those whose heads he actually crushed, he neither coquetted them nor paid them any respect.

    and we find that the 'rational kernel' is empty.
    Again, you can argue this, but I am simply not convinced that this is what Marx thought based on what he says.

    Well, I do not wish to take issue with all this here (but the argument is not as clear cut as you would have it -- I can find no reference in Marx that supports this view of yours), but even if you were right, I am not sure what this has to do with the issue at hand.
    You don't need to find a referance for it in Marx about it though, the similarity between Marx's views on the question of universals and those of the "nominalists" of the renaissance and antiquity is quite clear.

    I nowhere said Marx fully agreed with Aristotle.
    No, but you described this quote from Marx: "To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of 'the Idea,' he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of 'the Idea.' With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought." as a "return to Aristotle". I was pointing out that what is expressed here is basically distant from Aristotle's mystical understanding of the relationship between thought and matter.

    Maybe so, maybe not, but the point is that Marx was happy to wave goodbye to Hegel in Das Kapital, hence his use of the past tense, and his dismissal of Hegelian jargon as a joke (i.e., something with which he 'coquetted').
    Again I think you are reading too much into those things in a rather speculative way and it doesn't help your arguement.

    I am not sure what quantity has got to do with this. Are you suggesting that Marx was that superficial?
    I don't see it as being superficial. You can't really compare Aristotle with for example Thales or another philosopher whose works haven't survived. Quantity becomes quality
    "Communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man – the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution." - Karl Marx

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    Leo:

    He is talking about his method, he is not saying that he changed his method.
    Except, Hegel has now completely gone, and that constitutes a major change.

    Again, you can argue this, but I am simply not convinced that this is what Marx thought based on what he says.
    Well, Marx's own description of 'his method', from which all traces of Hegel have been removed, plainly indicates that the 'rational kernel' of Hegel is empty.

    Unless, of course, you think some traces of Hegel have been left. If so, which?

    You don't need to find a referance for it in Marx about it though, the similarity between Marx's views on the question of universals and those of the "nominalists" of the renaissance and antiquity is quite clear.
    So, let me get this straight; my view is based on what Marx actually said, whereas yours isn't.

    That seems fair...

    he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of 'the Idea.' With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought." as a "return to Aristotle". I was pointing out that what is expressed here is basically distant from Aristotle's mystical understanding of the relationship between thought and matter.
    Well, this is your reading. For my part, I think Marx is just confused here; so best to pass over it in respectful silence.

    Again I think you are reading too much into those things in a rather speculative way and it doesn't help your arguement.
    Except, it is based on what Marx actually says, not on what traditional tells us.

    I don't see it as being superficial. You can't really compare Aristotle with for example Thales or another philosopher whose works haven't survived. Quantity becomes quality
    In that case, Marx should have thought highly of St Bonaventure, whose works easily dwarf those of Aristotle.

    Or, if you are concentrating only on ancient philosophers, he should have thought more highly of Plato and Plotinus than he did of Epicurus or Democritus.

    So, not even you believe that quantity is related to quality here.
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    Well, Marx's own description of 'his method', from which all traces of Hegel have been removed, plainly indicates that the 'rational kernel' of Hegel is empty.
    It is an interpretation that doesn't really sound that reasonable, since you are basically saying that while Marx was saying something he meant the opposite.

    So, let me get this straight; my view is based on what Marx actually said, whereas yours isn't.
    No your view isn't based on what Marx actually said either. Marx never said that there was the slightest similarity between his and Aristotle's understanding of the question of universals. Marx, like other nominalists before himself, sees that concepts come after material reality and is shaped by it, that thought comes after matter and is shaped by it. This is basically a modern and developed understanding of what those who have been called nominalists said. Aristotle has a completely different understanding of the question of universals which is mystical.

    Well, this is your reading. For my part, I think Marx is just confused here; so best to pass over it in respectful silence.
    It's not "my reading", it's what he says - you can't make the point that Marx has got nothing to do with Hegel when you say ignore it when he himself says there are connections or when you just dismiss his comments as silly confused remarks. You are denying something that is obviously there. For the sake of your own arguement though, I think you should rather criticize the influences of Hegel in Marx's thought that ran through his thought and were a part of his method all his life than arguing that these things were non-existant.

    Anyway, I don't find it confused at all, he quite clearly says that thoughts, concepts, universals etc. come after material reality and are shaped by them, and he is exactly rigth. What he says is the reverse of what Hegel says, that thoughts, concepts, universals etc. come before material reality and shape them, thus Marx "reverses" Hegel. The relation he has with Hegel is similar to that of Plato and Anthisthenes on this question, both of whom use the Socratic method, while Plato is saying that ideas come before material reality and that the material reality is merely shadows of ideas, and Anthisthenes criticizing him saying that universals basically names of things given to material things. Aristotle's mysticism on this quetion of course isn't even in the picture.

    Except, it is based on what Marx actually says, not on what traditional tells us.
    Yet nothing I said has got anything to do with "tradition". You are not basing yourself on what Marx actually says though, you rather "pass over it in respectful silence".

    In that case, Marx should have thought highly of St Bonaventure, whose works easily dwarf those of Aristotle.

    Or, if you are concentrating only on ancient philosophers, he should have thought more highly of Plato and Plotinus than he did of Epicurus or Democritus.
    But saying that someone is the greatest philosopher of antiquity isn't exactly the same thing about thinking highly of that philsopher. Of course it doesn't just have to do with the amount of things Aristotle wrote, but they too have an influence. For example I think more highly of philosopher like Heraklitos, Democritus, Anthisthenes, Diogenes and Epicurus that I do of Aristotle. I would not say that either is a greater, mightier philsopher, than Aristotle though.

    So, not even you believe that quantity is related to quality here.
    Uh... i was joking
    "Communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man – the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution." - Karl Marx

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    Leo:

    It is an interpretation that doesn't really sound that reasonable, since you are basically saying that while Marx was saying something he meant the opposite.
    I am almost tempted to respond with 'That's dialectics for you -- a unity and identity of opposites...', but won't.

    How can I be saying this when Marx himself, not me, told us he was merely 'coquetting' with Hegelian jargon in Das Kapital, and he went out of his way to add a summary of 'his method' in which not one atom of Hegel (or his method -- whatever it is) can be found.

    No your view isn't based on what Marx actually said either. Marx never said that there was the slightest similarity between his and Aristotle's understanding of the question of universals. Marx, like other nominalists before himself, sees that concepts come after material reality and is shaped by it, that thought comes after matter and is shaped by it. This is basically a modern and developed understanding of what those who have been called nominalists said. Aristotle has a completely different understanding of the question of universals which is mystical.
    I am sorry, you misunderstand me. When I said my view was based on what Marx said, I was referring to his jettisoning of Hegel, not his adoption of Aristotle.

    It's not "my reading", it's what he says - you can't make the point that Marx has got nothing to do with Hegel when you say ignore it when he himself says there are connections or when you just dismiss his comments as silly confused remarks. You are denying something that is obviously there. For the sake of your own arguement though, I think you should rather criticize the influences of Hegel in Marx's thought that ran through his thought and were a part of his method all his life than arguing that these things were non-existant.
    I don't deny Marx said those things (how cpuld I?). My point is that his words are not self-interpreting. You have your view of them, and that's OK. All I did was to point out it was your view.

    For myself, I prefer not to interpret these words, since they are among the most confused things Marx said in his later work.

    You are welcome to make of them what you can.

    Anyway, I don't find it confused at all, he quite clearly says that thoughts, concepts, universals etc. come after material reality and are shaped by them, and he is exactly rigth. What he says is the reverse of what Hegel says, that thoughts, concepts, universals etc. come before material reality and shape them, thus Marx "reverses" Hegel. The relation he has with Hegel is similar to that of Plato and Anthisthenes on this question, both of whom use the Socratic method, while Plato is saying that ideas come before material reality and that the material reality is merely shadows of ideas, and Anthisthenes criticizing him saying that universals basically names of things given to material things. Aristotle's mysticism on this quetion of course isn't even in the picture.
    I beg to differ. A priori psychology of this sort always turns me off.

    And it's not even good a priori psychology. I will be publishing an essay on this in the next year or so, and will say no more about it until then.

    Yet nothing I said has got anything to do with "tradition". You are not basing yourself on what Marx actually says though, you rather "pass over it in respectful silence".
    Well, it seems to me that you are defending a traditional view: that Marx, in Das Kapital, found that the 'rational kernel' of Hegel's system was of great use to him, and thus that is was not empty, as I claim it is.

    In fact, there is no 'rational kernel' to be found (I defy you to tell me what it is), and, as I have pointed out, Marx's own words indicate that this 'kernel' is empty.

    And no wonder, if dialectics were true, change would be impossible.

    You are not basing yourself on what Marx actually says though, you rather "pass over it in respectful silence".
    I take from Marx what I think is defensible, and this a priori psychology (worked out in an armchair, with no experimental detail to back it up, no surveys, no brain scans, etc., etc.) isn't.

    You are welcome to it; I still prefer to pass by in respectful silence. [Marx was not a deity. He screwed up from time to time. I acknowledge that fact, but do not trumpet it about the place.]

    But saying that someone is the greatest philosopher of antiquity isn't exactly the same thing about thinking highly of that philsopher. Of course it doesn't just have to do with the amount of things Aristotle wrote, but they too have an influence. For example I think more highly of philosopher like Heraklitos, Democritus, Anthisthenes, Diogenes and Epicurus that I do of Aristotle. I would not say that either is a greater, mightier philsopher, than Aristotle though.
    Well, we have been over this already. Here is what I posted earlier:

    And yet he quotes Aristotle across eight pages in Das Kapital, and Epicurus not once.

    Here are a few of them:

    The two latter peculiarities of the equivalent form will become more intelligible if we go back to the great thinker who was the first to analyse so many forms, whether of thought, society, or Nature, and amongst them also the form of value. I mean Aristotle.

    In the first place, he clearly enunciates that the money form of commodities is only the further development of the simple form of value – i.e., of the expression of the value of one commodity in some other commodity taken at random; for he says:

    5 beds = 1 house – (clinai pente anti oiciaς)

    is not to be distinguished from

    5 beds = so much money. – (clinai pente anti ... oson ai pente clinai)

    He further sees that the value relation which gives rise to this expression makes it necessary that the house should qualitatively be made the equal of the bed, and that, without such an equalisation, these two clearly different things could not be compared with each other as commensurable quantities. “Exchange,” he says, “cannot take place without equality, and equality not without commensurability". (out isothς mh oushς snmmetriaς). Here, however, he comes to a stop, and gives up the further analysis of the form of value. “It is, however, in reality, impossible (th men oun alhqeia adunaton), that such unlike things can be commensurable” – i.e., qualitatively equal. Such an equalisation can only be something foreign to their real nature, consequently only “a makeshift for practical purposes.”

    Aristotle therefore, himself, tells us what barred the way to his further analysis; it was the absence of any concept of value. What is that equal something, that common substance, which admits of the value of the beds being expressed by a house? Such a thing, in truth, cannot exist, says Aristotle. And why not? Compared with the beds, the house does represent something equal to them, in so far as it represents what is really equal, both in the beds and the house. And that is – human labour.

    There was, however, an important fact which prevented Aristotle from seeing that, to attribute value to commodities, is merely a mode of expressing all labour as equal human labour, and consequently as labour of equal quality. Greek society was founded upon slavery, and had, therefore, for its natural basis, the inequality of men and of their labour powers. The secret of the expression of value, namely, that all kinds of labour are equal and equivalent, because, and so far as they are human labour in general, cannot be deciphered, until the notion of human equality has already acquired the fixity of a popular prejudice. This, however, is possible only in a society in which the great mass of the produce of labour takes the form of commodities, in which, consequently, the dominant relation between man and man, is that of owners of commodities. The brilliancy of Aristotle’s genius is shown by this alone, that he discovered, in the expression of the value of commodities, a relation of equality. The peculiar conditions of the society in which he lived, alone prevented him from discovering what, “in truth,” was at the bottom of this equality....
    MECW, Volume 35, Capital Volume One, pp.69-70. Bold added.

    Notice, no past tense when he calls Aristotle a 'great thinker', and that his work is that of 'genius'. I do not think he ever described Hegel that way. Lenin did, but not Marx. 'Mighty thinker' is the best we get.

    And here:

    If a giant thinker like Aristotle erred in his appreciation of slave labour, why should a dwarf economist like Bastiat be right in his appreciation of wage labour?
    Ibid., p.92.

    “For two-fold is the use of every object.... The one is peculiar to the object as such, the other is not, as a sandal which may be worn, and is also exchangeable. Both are uses of the sandal, for even he who exchanges the sandal for the money or food he is in want of, makes use of the sandal as a sandal. But not in its natural way. For it has not been made for the sake of being exchanged.” (Aristoteles, “De Rep.” l. i. c. 9.)
    Ibid., p.96.

    He quotes him again at length on pages 163, 175, 331 (where he notes that Aristotle called 'man' a politcal animal), and then on page 411 we find this:

    “If,” dreamed Aristotle, the greatest thinker of antiquity, “if every tool, when summoned, or even of its own accord, could do the work that befits it, just as the creations of Daedalus moved of themselves, or the tripods of Hephaestos went of their own accord to their sacred work, if the weavers’ shuttles were to weave of themselves, then there would be no need either of apprentices for the master workers, or of slaves for the lords.”
    Notice, no past tense when he calls Aristotle a 'great thinker', and a 'gaint thinker' and that his work is that of 'genius'. I do not think he ever described Hegel that way. Lenin did, but not Marx. 'Mighty thinker' is the best we get.

    So, Marx had a very high opinion of Aristotle. Can you think of anyone esle he described in this way? Did he describe the philosphers you mention in this way? I think not.

    i was joking
    So was I.

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