Thread: Logic

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  1. #1
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    Default Logic

    Logic is the force that compels belief in the congruence bt a proposition and a state of affairs. Like class relations, it is purely immaterial, yet so constitutes knowledge as to inform human behavior. What knowledge is in itself no one can say, it is only known by its effects.
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    This isn't really concerned with your main point, but...

    Are class relations immaterial? If so, what are the material relations Marx refers to?
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin

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    Are class relations immaterial? If so, what are the material relations Marx refers to?
    I just mean that class relations aren't, em, material *stuff*. But, point taken, clearly they'd be part of what Marx refers to as the "material" world. Moreover, "ideas", ideology are also material for Marx. I'm not so convinced that mental entities are real entities of any kind at all. OTC, IMO ideas and mental entities are the dialectical opposite -- the negative -- of the real. What is real? The efficient, i.e., what effects phenomenal change (but that's another thread).
    Last edited by trivas7; 10th October 2008 at 22:15.
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    class relations are certainly material, and ideas are most certainly not material for Marx. where did you read this?
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    class relations are certainly material, and ideas are most certainly not material for Marx. where did you read this?
    Insofar as ideas and ideology are the reflection of matter in men's (and women's) brains, they are indeed part of the ecology of material relations in, e.g. Capital. I glean this from David Harvey's lectures on Capital. Your mileage may vary. For Marx, philosophical materialism mean objective, not *stuff*.
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    Ideas and ideology are determined and produced by material relations, but are not in and of themselves material. I find this to be a crucial tenet of Marx's thought. But don't believe me... feel free to consult Marx. I recommend the Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy - here marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1859/critique-pol-economy/preface.htm
    or Part I of the German Ideology - here marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01.htm
    (*Sorry, my post count is not high enough to post links*)

    Ideology in Capital is perhaps more tightly interwoven with material relations, but it is still not identical to those relations in themselves, as it is a distortion of materiality... at least in reference to commodity exchange.

    I haven't watched those lectures though, so perhaps he picks up on something I don't. Do you have a link? I'd be interested in listening to them at some point...

    Althusser does go on to assert that ideology is material, but that's a different story.
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    Trivas:

    Logic is the force that compels belief in the congruence bt a proposition and a state of affairs. Like class relations, it is purely immaterial, yet so constitutes knowledge as to inform human behavior. What knowledge is in itself no one can say, it is only known by its effects.
    1) Logic is not a 'force'.

    2) Epistemology studies "the congruence bt a proposition and a state of affairs", not logic. Logic is merely the study of inference.

    3) Logic has nothing to do with 'class relations'; an argument is valid/invalid whether or not a worker or a capitalist constructs it.

    4) Like the vast majority of dialecticians, you have not bothered to study the subject before you began pontificating about it.

    You'll be advising us on brain surgery next!

    And there is no excuse for this; there are scores of sites on the internet that woud have disabused you of your self-imposed ignorance -- but maybe not your dogmatism -- had you bothered to check before you began bashing away at your keyboard.
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    Ideas and ideology are determined and produced by material relations, but are not in and of themselves material.
    Obviously this is true. I think Marx somewhere comments that ideas can have a material force, though. Intellectual labour has a productive effect, for instance.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin

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    Trivas:
    3) Logic has nothing to do with 'class relations'; an argument is valid/invalid whether or not a worker or a capitalist constructs it.
    Insofar as class relations are a product of Marx's analysis of capitalism, they are part of his logic. Logic is what makes Marx's analysis compelling. I said nothing re who makes an argument.
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    Obviously this is true. I think Marx somewhere comments that ideas can have a material force, though. Intellectual labour has a productive effect, for instance.
    Ideas can definitely have an effect on material relations; ideology, for instance, plays an essential role in reproducing existing social relations. But in the last analysis all ideas are subject to material determination. I find the distinction between ideas and materiality to be a crucial one for Marx.
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    I find the distinction between ideas and materiality to be a crucial one for Marx.
    Agreed, the distinction is important. But even more important is the nature of the relation between them. Ideas are never just a passive reflection of material relations; nor are they directly reducible to those relations.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin

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    Trivas:

    Insofar as class relations are a product of Marx's analysis of capitalism, they are part of his logic. Logic is what makes Marx's analysis compelling. I said nothing re who makes an argument.
    1) I note you ignored my comment that you prefer to pontificate about logic from a position of what seems to be total ignorance.

    2) Marx uses informal logic only in Das Kapital, as you have had pointed out to you many times. Informal logic is also blind to class relations. In fact, if it weren't, then Marx (a non-worker) would not have been able to develop a working class theory.

    3) You also said:

    What knowledge is in itself no one can say, it is only known by its effects.
    I'd like to know how you know this.

    Or is this yet another Trivas-dogma, which we must all unquestioningly accept, and with grateful thanks to, thee, the true prophet?
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    2) Marx uses informal logic only in Das Kapital, as you have had pointed out to you many times. Informal logic is also blind to class relations. In fact, if it weren't, then Marx (a non-worker) would not have been able to develop a working class theory.
    I don't know what informal logic is. Neither do I think it's what Marx meant when he referred to "his method". Nor do I understand what Marx's class status has to do with his analysis of capitalism.
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    Trivas7 & RL: I have one word for you, just one word:

    semantics.
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    Trivas7 & RL: I have one word for you, just one word:
    semantics.
    Terrific. Have you a thought to accompany that word?
    Eppur si muove -- Galileo Galilei


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    Terrific. Have you a thought to accompany that word?
    I try not say with more what could be said with less, but here goes.

    Rosa is using the term "logic" to mean the study of correct inference. From what I gather, you are using "logic" to mean, basically, a line of thought. There are not equivalent, but both of these are fair senses of the term "logic." This struck me as what was at the heart of your disagreement.
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    Trivas:

    I don't know what informal logic is.
    Now why does that not surprise me? But you have been told before. Here are some links; feel free to ignore them like you did last time:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-informal/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informal_logic

    Neither do I think it's what Marx meant when he referred to "his method".
    How do you know if you do not know what Informal Logic is?

    Nor do I understand what Marx's class status has to do with his analysis of capitalism.
    Well, at least you are honest.
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    Here are some links; feel free to ignore them like you did last time:
    If by informal logic you mean Marx's ability to make interconnections amongst seemingly disparate things within a context, I totally agree that Marx uses informal logic. And this exactly characterizes his dialectical method.
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    Trivas:

    If by informal logic you mean Marx's ability to make interconnections amongst seemingly disparate things within a context, I totally agree that Marx uses informal logic.
    No, as you would see if you actually bothered to read up on something before you began pontificating about it, informal logic underpins our everyday capacity to make sense of the world and to reason with one another (and this also involves making 'connections'). So, as I have noted before, this relates Marx's method the to dialectic as it appears in Aristotle and Kant, but more in tune with working class ways of reasoning.

    And that is why Marx endorsed this 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 (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 you have had forced down your throat, 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...

    And this exactly characterizes his dialectical method
    Unless you mean the non-mystical version of the 'dialectic' outlined above, then no, this is not what 'characterises his dialectical method'.
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    Trivas:
    So, as I have noted before, this relates Marx's method the to dialectic as it appears in Aristotle and Kant, but more in tune with working class ways of reasoning.
    I have no idea what you mean to say by this.

    AFAIK It is only you who believes there is some mystical meaning to the dialectic.
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