Thread: Marx and contradiction

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  1. #1
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    Default Marx and contradiction

    Gary Tedman in this article argues that Marx's materialist dialectics harkens back at least to the Ionians and is an important component of Marxist theory.

    http://www.politicalaffairs.net/arti...ew/7070/1/341/
    Last edited by trivas7; 24th June 2008 at 23:33.
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    Thanks for that Trivas: I'll read it and let you know what I think.

    But, I can predict now that it will make all the usual mistakes.
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    Yep, I was right. There is nothing new in this article. Just the same old errors that have been exposed time and again!

    1) The author seem to believe that Marx's views are somehow not 'western' in view of the fact that his work is based on a rejection/criticism of the so-called 'law of non-contradiction', but in fact that principle has been rejected/questioned by Hermeticists in the west (along with other western mystics and philosophers) for millennia.

    The details can be found here:

    Priest, G. (2002), Beyond The Limits Of Thought (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed.)

    Priest, G., Routley, R., and Norman, J. (1989) (eds.), Paraconsistent Logic. Essays On The Inconsistent (Philospohia Verlag).

    And in one of my Essays:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/...ppose%20DM.htm

    Sure, it appears in the 'East' too, but that just shows it is part of the ruling ideas that have always ruled.

    2) The author appeals to the same old hoary chestnuts as Hegel does (Zeno's paradoxes, particularly that of motion) to motivate a belief that reality is fundamentally contradictory.

    But, Zeno's paradox of motion is no paradox, since it is based on an unequal convention that whereas space may be indefinitely divisible, time is not. If both are indefinitely divisible, then we may always specify an interval (in time and/or space) in which a moving object is in that space at that time.

    More details here:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/page%2005.htm

    Zeno's other 'paradoxes' (which are not really relevant to Marxism anyway), can similarly be defused.

    This is in fact the dialectical version of the 'god of the gaps' argument we find in Christian Fundamentalism -- that is, just because we do not yet have a scientific answer to some puzzle, this means it must be the work of 'god'.

    In like manner, Hegel co-opted these ancient ideas, and argued along similar lines: we have no answer to these paradoxes yet, so this must mean that it is the work of the dialectic, not the deity (or in Hegel's case, both).

    But, we now have an answer to these paradoxes, which this author seems not to know about.

    3) The author follows Lenin in claiming that it is impossible to understand Das Kapital unless the one attempting to do so has thoroughly studied and fully understood the whole of Hegel's 'Logic'.

    But not even Marx claimed that of his own work. Moreover, Lenin admitted that there were parts of Hegel's 'Logic' he did not understand (references can be supplied on request) -- which must mean even he did not understand Das Kapital!

    Furthermore, it is impossible to decide if anyone has ever fully understood Hegel's Logic. That would mean that no one would be able to decide if anyone has understood Das Kapital, including Marx! Moreover, Hegel was in the process of fundamentally revising his 'Logic' just before he died; his revisions were not published until long after Lenin also died. Does this mean that no Marxist has ever understood Das Kapital?

    Finally, this author ignores Marx's own repudiation of the dialectic (as it is generally understood) in Das Kapital

    The rest of what this author says in no way tells us anything new, or relevant, and certainly it fails to illuminate the obscure notion of a 'dialectical contradiction'.

    Nor does it even show why the 'law of non-contradiction' is defective.

    In other words: yet another dialectical waste of paper/space.
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    I have sent the above reply to the editor of the on-line journal in which this rather poor article appeared.

    Let's see if they publish it.
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    Rosa --

    You make broad general remarks that probably few would agree with. The point of the article as I see it is that Marx's philosophy uses a distinctly "Eastern" approach that isn't associated with the Western philosophic tradition.
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    Trivas:

    You make broad general remarks that probably few would agree with. The point of the article as I see it is that Marx's philosophy uses a distinctly "Eastern" approach that isn't associated with the Western philosophic tradition.
    And the point of my reply is to question this odd claim.

    The fact is that Marx does not do what this author says, and even if he did, the mystical view he attributes to Marx can be found the world over, at all times in the last 3000 years.

    So, it is indeed one of the 'ruling ideas'.

    And, I can imagine someone saying this to Galileo 400 years ago:

    You make broad general remarks that probably few would agree with.
    Someone has to innovate, or humanity would not progress; too bad for you mystics, it's me...
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    Hegel was well aware that he did not use "contradiction" and "negation" in the sense given to them in formal logic. Following a tradition that goes back to Plato, he asserts that these are logical operators for ordering his categories systematically, as opposed to logical operators for making formal inferences.
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    Trivas:

    Hegel was well aware that he did not use "contradiction" and "negation" in the sense given to them in formal logic. Following a tradition that goes back to Plato, he asserts that these are logical operators for ordering his categories systematically, as opposed to logical operators for making formal inferences.
    I am aware that this is how Hegelians usually special-plead for their 'hero' each time. Only I do not buy it. This ruling-class hack was being dogmatic, just like philosophers before him had been. Small wonder then that Marx told us that the ideas of the ruling class always rule, and that:

    The philosophers have only to dissolve their language into the ordinary language, from which it is abstracted, in order to recognise it, as the distorted language of the actual world, and to realise that neither thoughts nor language in themselves form a realm of their own, that they are only manifestations of actual life." [Marx and Engels (1970), The German Ideology, p.118. Bold emphases added.]
    From 'distorted' language, nothing follows.

    At the very least, Hegel should have introduced a series of stipulative definitions, so that his argument could at least have been sound. As things stands, you/we have no way of knowing if his conclusions follow.

    No, what he does instead is play around with a few words lifted from traditional logic and metaphysics, uses them in odd ways, rather like Anselm did in his famous 'proof' of the existence of 'god', and you lot fall for his half-baked 'conclusions', since any string of words in Hegel is an 'argument' to you logical incompetents

    Anyway, he certainly thought he could 'negate' the 'law of identity' to obtain a contradiction, and in doing this he was using these terms as he imagined they were used in logic. The only trouble is that a contradiction cannot be obtained from the alleged 'negation' of the 'law of identity'.

    The details can be found here:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/page%2008_03.htm

    This is summarised here:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/...mmitted_01.htm

    Or, if you prefer not to go to my site, you can find a much earlier version of the above here:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...97&postcount=2
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    At the very least, Hegel should have introduced a series of stipulative definitions, so that his argument could at least have been sound. As things stands, you/we have no way of knowing if his conclusions follow.
    My, you do want your philosophy spoon-fed to you.
    No, what he does instead is play around with a few words lifted from traditional logic and metaphysics, uses them in odd ways, rather like Anselm did in his famous 'proof' of the existence of 'god', and you lot fall for his half-baked 'conclusions', since any string of words in Hegel is an 'argument' to you logical incompetents

    Anyway, he certainly thought he could 'negate' the 'law of identity' to obtain a contradiction, and in doing this he was using these terms as he imagined they were used in logic. The only trouble is that a contradiction cannot be obtained from the alleged 'negation' of the 'law of identity'.
    You've proved none of this. Indeed, your open remark:
    Readers need to make note of the fact that this Essay does not represent my final view on any of the issues raised. It is merely 'work in progress'.
    confirms Hegel's approach exactly.
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    Trivas:

    My, you do want your philosophy spoon-fed to you.
    Alas, only by those who actually know any -- which, unfortunately, rules you out.

    Of course, that explains why you always shy away from explaining anything.

    You've proved none of this. Indeed, your open remark:
    Oh yes I have; but, since you refuse to read my Essays, you will never know.

    It is to be hoped you remain that way.


    Readers need to make note of the fact that this Essay does not represent my final view on any of the issues raised. It is merely 'work in progress'.
    confirms Hegel's approach exactly.
    In what way?

    [Ha! As if you'll answer that.]
  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by trivas7
    confirms Hegel's approach exactly.
    alludes to the fact that for Hegel there are no final truths.
    Alas, only by those who actually know any -- which, unfortunately, rules you out.
    As if anyone would assume you as a guide.
    No, what he does instead is play around with a few words lifted from traditional logic and metaphysics, uses them in odd ways, rather like Anselm did in his famous 'proof' of the existence of 'god', and you lot fall for his half-baked 'conclusions', since any string of words in Hegel is an 'argument' to you logical incompetents

    Anyway, he certainly thought he could 'negate' the 'law of identity' to obtain a contradiction, and in doing this he was using these terms as he imagined they were used in logic. The only trouble is that a contradiction cannot be obtained from the alleged 'negation' of the 'law of identity'.
    Can you be any more specific than:
    The details can be found here:
    that proves any of this? Why should I have to trawl through your pretentious scribblings?
    Last edited by trivas7; 7th July 2008 at 17:10.
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    Trivas:

    alludes to the fact that for Hegel there are no final truths.
    Except for that final truth. In which case, Hegel was wrong, and we can ignore him.

    I already do...

    As if anyone would assume you as a guide.
    They already do.

    Can you be any more specific than:

    The details can be found here:
    that proves any of this? Why should I have to trawl through your pretentious scribblings?
    Nope.

    Stick to the mystical ramblings in Hegel, for all I care.

    After all, Dialectical Marxism is so unbelievably successful, and has not in the least been refuted by history.
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    Thanks for proving nothing.
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    Trivas:

    Thanks for proving nothing.
    You missed this comment on the openibng page of my site:

    Great care has been taken with these Essays; they have been distilled from work I have been doing for ten years, but I have been mulling over the ideas they contain for twenty-five or more. Literally thousands of hours have gone into writing, re-writing and re-thinking this material. In addition, I have spent more money than I care to mention obtaining literally thousands of obscure books, theses and papers on a whole range of topics directly and indirectly connected with DM.

    In that case, anyone who cannot bring to this discussion the seriousness it deserves is encouraged to go and waste their time elsewhere. I am not interested in communicating with clowns.
    So, buzz off Bozo; I have no desire to disabuse you of your self-imposed ignorance.
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    So, buzz off Bozo; I have no desire to disabuse you of your self-imposed ignorance.
    If you're unwilling to support what you post here stop trolling to direct traffic to your pretentious pap. Nobody's interested.
    Last edited by trivas7; 7th July 2008 at 20:59.
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    Trivas:

    If you're unwilling to support what you post here stop trolling to direct traffic to your pretentious pap.
    Not only do I support 90% of the things I say here (as most of my 7600 odd posts confirm), you consitently refuse to do the same.

    So, if anyone is the troll here, it is you my clownish friend.

    Nobody's interested
    Not so; many comrades are.
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    Not only do I support 90% of the things I say here (as most of my 7600 odd posts confirm), you consitently refuse to do the same.

    So, if anyone is the troll here, it is you my clownish friend.
    At least I lay my philosophic cards on the table that allows you to see what a poor hand I have been dealt. Other than the Wittgensteinian programme to de-Hegelize Marx I have no idea what your core beliefs might be.
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    Trivas:

    At least I lay my philosophic cards on the table that allows you to see what a poor hand I have been dealt. Other than the Wittgensteinian programme to de-Hegelize Marx I have no idea what your core beliefs might be.
    You have been told several times, but your clownish memory cells seem to be letting you down (again). With respect to Marxism, my core belief is in historical materialism.

    Have you got that, or do you need telling again?

    And it is true that you have laid 'philosophical cards on the table', but alas they are those developed by others (and which reflect a ruling-class view of reality), onto which you cling like the dogmatist you are.

    So, your confession of faith here is more akin to the confession of a crime.
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    You have been told several times, but your clownish memory cells seem to be letting you down (again). With respect to Marxism, my core belief is in historical materialism.
    You can tell me all you like, you mean nothing by it AFAIK.
    And it is true that you have laid 'philosophical cards on the table', but alas they are those developed by others (and which reflect a ruling-class view of reality), onto which you cling like the dogmatist you are.
    So what? Look around you, the world is full of people who reflect a ruling-class view of reality. Are Wittgensteinians alone thus immune?
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    Rosa:

    in formal logic, what is an object?

    Also, citing Heraclitus, can one step on the same river twice?
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