Marx's dialectic

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revol68's picture
revol68
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Mar 12 2012 18:17

Not out till June, damn, does look good though, well from the blurb, the actual cover is a bit pish.

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jura
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Mar 12 2012 18:56

That book is amazing, and I'm sure the English translation will be perfect.

LBird
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Mar 12 2012 19:09
Angelus Novus wrote:
All of you complaining about the difficulties of the first three chapters of Capital just need to get this here book:

Quote:
An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital
by Michael Heinrich
Paperback, 220 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-58367-288-4
Cloth (ISBN-13: 978-1-58367-289-1)
Forthcoming in June 2012

Price: $15.95

I've had it on pre-order for weeks, Angelus. Let's hope it helps, eh?

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 12 2012 21:20

LB:

Quote:
But, Rosa, what counts as 'evidence' depends on one's conceptual schema, so to maintain I haven't supplied 'evidence' means that you must have a way of measuring 'evidence', to be aware of its absence.

Well, I don't have a 'conceptual scheme', and I doubt anyone else has, either.

[The idea that we all operate with one is based on some highly dubious a priori psychology, which can be shown to be non-sensical, too.]

Quote:
How do you measure 'evidence'?

Are you asking me what I mean by the word "evidence"?

I have to ask this since I am sure evidence can't be measured (except with a tape measure or weighing scales, etc.).

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You'll have to define 'traditional' for us, Rosa. I think Wittgenstein's method has philosophical assumptions, just like every other human method.

By 'traditional', I mean, of course, philosophy as it has been practiced 'in the west', by the vast majority of philosophers since Ancient Greek times.

And I challenge you to show us one philosophical assumption that Wittgenstein adopts.

And even if per impossible you succeed, I will promtly reject that assumption and criticise Wittgenstein for adopting it.

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jura wrote:
Quote:
Such (non-deductive) inference from a singular instance to a general conclusion deserves some justification. There are many ways of providing one, but I'd be interested to see how that can be done without recourse to some philosophical views (albeit implicit) of knowledge and justification.

I'm with jura on this one, Rosa.

You left this out:

Quote:
Well, for one, you seem to believe that the fact that Marx's summary of his method in the Afterword doesn't contain any Hegelian terminology excludes the possibility of him using Hegel's categories in any methodical way (as opposed to mere "coquetting").

This provides the context for my alleged 'non-deductive inference'.

But this is to operate wirh a very restricted sense of 'deductive'.

But, even if it didn't, it's what we call an 'abductive inference' -- an inference to the best explanation, a form of reasoning we use every day.

It isn't based on any philosophical assumptions at all -- or if it is, I'd like to see the proof.

[When it is used in support of Scientific Realism, however, it is based on several philosophical assumptions, but since I am not a Scientific Realist, and am not using it to support a realist conclusion, my use of it is based on perfectly ordinary, non-theoretical patterns of inference.]

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 12 2012 21:22

Jura:

Quote:
Well, for one, you seem to believe that the fact that Marx's summary of his method in the Afterword doesn't contain any Hegelian terminology excludes the possibility of him using Hegel's categories in any methodical way (as opposed to mere "coquetting"). Such (non-deductive) inference from a singular instance to a general conclusion deserves some justification. There are many ways of providing one, but I'd be interested to see how that can be done without recourse to some philosophical views (albeit implicit) of knowledge and justification.

And how many more dozen goes do we have to endure from you before we reach the end of 'just a few more goes'?

See my answer to LB.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 12 2012 21:35

R68:

Quote:
Maybe I'm wrong but I always thought Rosa's inane opposition to dialectics stemmed for the fact she fails to get her head round what is meant by "contradiction" and how it is employed in Hegel and Marx or indeed most people who aren't batshit It seems to me Rosa has a weirdly narrow definition of it that takes it as a logical impossibility, so she bangs on about how A can't be A and not A at the same time. In formal logic of course A is a discrete and homogeneous entity, but when we talk about identity in reality we are dealing with fluid and non binary material, for example we can talk of a person being contradictory because a person is constituted by various complex factors. Someone can be called a walking contradiction because personality is not a discrete thing, likewise with social processes, there is no means to reduce social reality into these singular units.

In fact Hegel 'bangs' on about 'A and not A', etc.; if I am to criticise him, I am forced to use this obscure abbreviation. If I didn't, you lot would accuse me of misrepresentation.

And far from me not understanding Hegel's use of this term, I'm in good company, since I have yet to encounter anyone who does -- and from what you write here, it's plain you don't either.

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In formal logic of course A is a discrete and homogeneous entity, but when we talk about identity in reality we are dealing with fluid and non binary material, for example we can talk of a person being contradictory because a person is constituted by various complex factors. Someone can be called a walking contradiction because personality is not a discrete thing, likewise with social processes, there is no means to reduce social reality into these singular units

'Contradictory' is not the same as 'contradiction'. And since we are talking about the latter, these comments of yours are irrelevant.

Your attempt to talk about 'processes' is no help either. If it were, it would scupper Hegel's attempted derivation too (since he attempts to label them with these obscure "A"s, not me).

And identity is no enemy of change either, for if anything is identcal with an object or process, it will change equally quickly.

With that observation, dialectics falls apart.

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These are all very basic contradictions within capitalism and I'm slightly scundered to be typing out the obvious in such a manner bu it seems people are taking a ridiculously literal and reductive notion of contradiction and using it to attack a dialectical method. On the otherhand you have people who would appear to desire dialectics be thought of as some mystical dark art, a specialist type of logic outside the realms of the everyday, these people are fuckwits.

But, other than your salvish adherence to tradition, what justification can you offer for calling these 'contradictions'?

They are nothing like them.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 12 2012 21:51

SA:

Quote:
I think it would be helpful if Rosa could demystify the first three chapters of vol 1 for L Bird, who finds Marx's presentation "magical, religious, mystical" in the mode of dialectics.

No need to, since they aren't mystical to begin with (recall, as Marx tells us, he abandoned the 'dialectic' as you mystics understand it). but that hasn't stopped you lot from trying to mystify it.

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All Rosa's nonsense about exchange value without use value is exactly that, nonsense from the perspective of Marx's examination of value, because Marx's explication is an analysis of how and why the use value of any single commodity is expressed as, or translated into, the exchange value of any and all other commodities.

Except, as I have shown in this thread, this 'nonsense' follows from your defective definition -- yet another issue you keep ducking. [But see below.]

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If Rosa's "Anti-dialectics" has any validity, any practical consequences for Marx's analysis, then surely that consequence will become evident in Marx's examination of value.

But it does, in Das Kapital -- if we refuse to mystify it along the lines you keep proposing.

Quote:
Now I certainly don't expect Rosa to engage such a challenge-- what we will get is more puffery about "as soon as you answer my questions" blahblahblah... but I'm not the person asking for clarification of those chapters, L Bird, who substantially agrees with Rosa's "critique" is, and he thinks those chapters are examples of Hegelian obfuscation

Which questions you have failed to answer -- and here at LibCom there are now two more: 1) You can't respond effectively to my demostration that your definition of use value implies that an antique chair, left in a cellar, and forgotten about, can't be a use value; 2) That the only justification you can offer for your odd use of 'contradiction' is tradition.

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No such implication is contained in Marx's description of a use-value. The inference is particularly and peculiarly Rosa's. We can state Marx's definition this way: a use-value is an object that can satisfy a human, want, need, or desire.

This is your intentioanl definition again, and it implies that the aforementione chair can't be a use-value.

Or do you suppose that this chair, which no one knows about is satisfying "a human, want, need, or desire"

But you now alter your earlier definition.

It's no longer:

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A use-value is an object that satisfies a human want, need, desire,

But:

Quote:
a use-value is an object that can satisfy a human, want, need, or desire

Ok, so I want it to be the case that wood is a use value for lightning.

So, it is.

QED

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 12 2012 21:59

SA:

Quote:
But Rosa believes that Marx extirpated Hegel in volume 1 of Capital. So why then are these three chapters so mystifying and difficult for many people to grasp?

Alas for you Marx believes it too, since the only summary of the 'dialectic method' he published and endorsed in his entire lifetime contains not one atom of Hegel's system, jargon or method -- upside down or the 'right way up'.

S. Artesian
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Mar 12 2012 22:14
Quote:
No need to, since they aren't mystical to begin with (recall, as Marx tells us, he abandoned the 'dialectic' as you mystics understand it). but that hasn't stopped you lot from trying to mystify it.

Sorry LB, apparently Rosa's demystified looking glass can't help you with the first three chapters of capital, and Rosa herself is far too busy to help you with the non-dialectical content of Marx's exploration of value.

This, along with her refusal to provide any evidence of a substantive difference between Marx of the Grundrisse {Marx the mystic} and Marx of Capital {Marx the de-mystic} sums up the worth of her pontifications.

She can't even be bothered to help out a brother.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 13 2012 01:38

SA:

Quote:
Sorry LB, apparently Rosa's demystified looking glass can't help you with the first three chapters of capital, and Rosa herself is far too busy to help you with the non-dialectical content of Marx's exploration of value.

Still prevaricating, I see. roll eyes

So, the next time I assert that you have failed to answer my questions (and you reply that you have), I can quote these threads, in addition to those at RevLeft, where you prevaricated to Olympic Standard, as proof you are full of hot air.

1) Assuming you are 100% right about Marx and 'the dialectic mehtod', other than appealing to tradition, what justification do you have for using 'contradiction' in the way you do?

2) Your intentional definition implies an antique chair, in a cellar and forgotten about, has no use value.

Quote:
This, along with her refusal to provide any evidence of a substantive difference between Marx of the Grundrisse {Marx the mystic} and Marx of Capital {Marx the de-mystic} sums up the worth of her pontifications

.

Except Marx himself, not me, published a summary of 'the dialectic method' (his words, not mine), which contained no trace whatsoever of Hegel or his 'method'.

If Marx's words aren't good enough for you, then what are?

Of course, if you have managed to locate that missing passage, publsihed by Marx contemporaneous with or subsequent to Das Kapital, which supports your attempt to re-mystify his work, you'd be wise to keep it hidden no longer.

Quote:
She can't even be bothered to help out a brother.

I'm not here to help anyone out, but to nail your mysticism and that of others who seek to drag Marx's good name in the mire.

And, it looks like I am succeeding -- at least with respect to your good self. You have been reduced once again to ducking the above questions -- just like you did at RevLeft.

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Arbeiten
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Mar 13 2012 01:52
Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
Well, you can't get more 'opposite' to Hegel than rejecting his method root-and-branch, can you?

this bit was the only funny part of this thread.

LBird
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Mar 13 2012 06:40
Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
Well, I don't have a 'conceptual scheme', and I doubt anyone else has, either.

[The idea that we all operate with one is based on some highly dubious a priori psychology, which can be shown to be non-sensical, too.]

Unfortunately, Rosa, 'society' is a priori to you, so your conceptual schema is a social one too, even if transferred through Wittgenstein, who was also a social product.

RL wrote:
Are you asking me what I mean by the word "evidence"?

I have to ask this since I am sure evidence can't be measured (except with a tape measure or weighing scales, etc.).

Now, you're leaving yourself open to revol68's 'scab' criticism, and merely playing with words.

RL wrote:
It isn't based on any philosophical assumptions at all -- or if it is, I'd like to see the proof.

[When it is used in support of Scientific Realism, however, it is based on several philosophical assumptions, but since I am not a Scientific Realist, and am not using it to support a realist conclusion, my use of it is based on perfectly ordinary, non-theoretical patterns of inference.]

Ahhh, I am a scientific realist (I think the real world does exist outside of human thought, reality operates at different levels, and much is hidden), so we differ here, Rosa.

As to 'proof', it requires a framework of reference, and I suspect what I would regard as 'proof', you wouldn't.

But I must say, I think many of your criticisms about 'dialectics' still seem to stand, even outside of your philosophical approach.

S. Artesian
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Mar 13 2012 12:36

I haven't ducked a thing. I've refused to engage in your absurd, irrelevant discussions about whether or not a chair hidden in an attic that nobody knows about is a use value.

You have ducked all practical inquiries regarding your assertions--that there are exchange values without use values; that some time between 1857 and 1867 Marx extirpated Hegel; that this supposed "demystification" by the mature Marx of the "pre-mature" Marx has any meaning whatsoever.

You cannot provide any material evidence for these assertions. Instead you rely on a deliberate distortion of an afterword to the 2nd edition of volume 1.

That's all there is, has been, and will ever be to any discussion with you: no material, substantive change in Marx; no evidence for your assertions; deliberate distortion of an afterword to and edition of Capital that you have never read.

You cannot explain a single category of Marx; you cannot answer a single question about Marx's analysis of value; you can't clarify the very points that many people find so difficult in volume 1 and that many consider to be Marx's demonstration of his dialectic-- including those people who disagree with dialectics.

There is nothing of substance in anything you write about Marx's work, since Marx's work is first and foremost the analysis of the opposition, the conflict, the contradiction, as he repeatedly identifies it, between labor and the conditions of labor

The hot air, and the empty head, are all yours.

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Mar 13 2012 14:20
Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
You left this out:
Jura wrote:
Well, for one, you seem to believe that the fact that Marx's summary of his method in the Afterword doesn't contain any Hegelian terminology excludes the possibility of him using Hegel's categories in any methodical way (as opposed to mere "coquetting").

This provides the context for my alleged 'non-deductive inference'.

But this is to operate wirh a very restricted sense of 'deductive'.

But, even if it didn't, it's what we call an 'abductive inference' -- an inference to the best explanation, a form of reasoning we use every day.

It isn't based on any philosophical assumptions at all -- or if it is, I'd like to see the proof.

I'm quite surprised to see this given how much you go on about Hume, Frege, Church or Russell, but anyhow: An argument is a valid deductive argument iff if the premises are true, then the conclusion cannot be untrue. That's pretty much the standard definition.

Abduction or reduction is a type of non-deductive argument, because the premises may well be true, but the conclusion can still be false. The premises do not entail the conclusion. Hence, the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion. Reliance on non-deductive arguments then has to be justified by appeal to something else than purely logical relations like that of entailment. One way of doing it is by appeal to previous experience – i.e. non-deductive arguments have worked in "everyday life" in the past, hence they will work now or in the future – but that is a non-deductive argument again (hence the justification is circular). If you really have some philosophical training, you should know this as the problem of induction (Hume). Anyway, it's impossible to justify non-deductive reasoning without taking philosophical (THE HORROR!) positions (e.g. about the existence of the external world, about degrees of certainty of human knowledge, about causal relationships between the past and the present etc.). Hence you either give up all non-deductive arguments (bad idea, in my view) or start thinking about the philosophical presuppositions implicit in your supposedly anti-philosophical approach.

Anyway, so what do you think it is that makes your argument ("Marx does not use Hegelian terms in his summary of the dialectical method, therefore Marx's dialectical method has nothing to do with Hegel") plausible? And not only plausible, but stronger and more plausible than my (obviously non-deductive) argument :

Marx explicitly says that the "Hegelian 'contradiction'" is the source of all dialectic. Marx uses the word "contradiction" often in his Economic Manuscripts. Therefore Marx thought that his dialectical method, as applied in his Economic Manuscripts, shares similiarities with Hegel's method.

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Mar 13 2012 14:48

BTW, Rosa, if you are the anti-dialectical Copernicus you think you are, you should be able to do more than repeat a few theses about the Afterword and some isolated passages. I admit that an interpretation of Marx's Capital that could do without any Hegelian categories and result in a critique of political economy with an explanatory power equal or superior to its Hegelian competitors would be a fatal blow to the tradition, cutting it off like Occam's razor.

The challenge for both Ptolemy and Copernicus were phenomena like retrograde motion. I think some of the challenges for an anti-Hegelian, anti-dialectical marxist are 1. the concepts of "immanent" and "external" measure of value from Zur Kritik (mostly implicit in Capital), 2. the section on the form of value (notably the nature of the argument proceeding from the elementary to the money form), 3. the paradoxical situation at the beginning of Ch2, 4. paradoxical situation at the end of the part on the transformation of money into capital. The point is to interpret these parts without recourse to Hegelian categories while achieving all of the important content achieved by "Hegelian" interpretations.

If you can do at least one I think it would add a lot of persuasiveness to your position.

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Mar 13 2012 17:11
Rosa wrote:
But, other than your salvish adherence to tradition, what justification can you offer for calling these 'contradictions'?

They are nothing like them.

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syndicalistcat
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Mar 13 2012 20:02
Quote:
Abduction or reduction is a type of non-deductive argument, because the premises may well be true, but the conclusion can still be false. The premises do not entail the conclusion. Hence, the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion. Reliance on non-deductive arguments then has to be justified by appeal to something else than purely logical relations like that of entailment. One way of doing it is by appeal to previous experience – i.e. non-deductive arguments have worked in "everyday life" in the past, hence they will work now or in the future – but that is a non-deductive argument again (hence the justification is circular). If you really have some philosophical training, you should know this as the problem of induction (Hume). Anyway, it's impossible to justify non-deductive reasoning without taking philosophical (THE HORROR!) positions (e.g. about the existence of the external world, about degrees of certainty of human knowledge, about causal relationships between the past and the present etc.).

As is well known to any reasonably well informed logic teacher, abduction is self-justifying, that is, it can be justified abductively. Also, other non-deductive inferences such as induction can be justified abductively. None of the so-called "philosophical theses" you refer to are presuppositions of abduction. Maybe you should read something more recent on this subject.

Moreover, abduction is a basic inferential practice. It is a practice such that we can't do without it. We do it everyday and our ability to act in the world hinges on its use.

S. Artesian
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Mar 13 2012 20:44
jolasmo wrote:
Rosa wrote:
But, other than your salvish adherence to tradition, what justification can you offer for calling these 'contradictions'?

They are nothing like them.

Finally! Some clarity.

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jura
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Mar 13 2012 22:05
syndicalistcat wrote:
As is well known to any reasonably well informed logic teacher, abduction is self-justifying, that is, it can be justified abductively.

Perhaps I'm a particularly uninformed teacher of logic and philosophy of science, then.

But perhaps not. First of all, the "justification" you hint at is completely circular, and that was exactly my (and Hume's) point. If you wish to give a justification for a kind of inference, and this justification relies on the same kind of inference, you haven't justified anything. (The fact that it "just works" in some cases and that "we can't do without it" is not a justification. Or if it is, it certainly won't do without additional presuppositions about the external world, about successful human agency in the world etc.) I mean, read the entry on induction in an philosophical dictionary if you don't trust me.

Hume solved this by recourse, ultimately, to a theory of knowledge based on the association of ideas. Fair enough. Some logical positivists tried to develop a logic of induction. This failed, but still, fair enough. There are other ways of justifying non-deductive inference, but it can't be done without assuming some philosophical positions, whether one admits it or not. I mean, a large part of the debate about the "inference to the best explanation" in the last twenty or thirty years has been about scientific realism. Surely a coincidence!

syndicalistcat wrote:
Also, other non-deductive inferences such as induction can be justified abductively. None of the so-called "philosophical theses" you refer to are presuppositions of abduction.

More on this below.

syndicalistcat wrote:
Moreover, abduction is a basic inferential practice. It is a practice such that we can't do without it. We do it everyday and our ability to act in the world hinges on its use.

That's beside the point. The point is how you justify using abductive inference in, say, a theoretical argument. If you do it by recourse to the fact that it has worked in the past, then that's still a non-deductive argument. If you wish to avoid or weaken the circularity, you have to bring in philosophical presuppositions. Moreover, how do you decide between two abductive arguments with contradictory conclusions (such as those I gave above)? Say, based on the evidence in the premises. But how do you measure which premises provide better evidence? How these questions can be solved without taking position on whether the world is knowable, where this knowledge comes from, what constitutes evidence, how we confront statements with experience etc. is beyond my understanding. And those are philosophical positions, at least in my book. The supposed "anti-philosophy" of Rosa is hot air, much like the "anti-dialectics".

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 13 2012 21:39

LB:

Quote:
Unfortunately, Rosa, 'society' is a priori to you, so your conceptual schema is a social one too, even if transferred through Wittgenstein, who was also a social product.

No, it's part of the scientific theory called historical materialism, and hence, it isn't the least bit philosophical.

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Now, you're leaving yourself open to revol68's 'scab' criticism, and merely playing with words.

Not so, it was a genuine query.

Quote:
Ahhh, I am a scientific realist (I think the real world does exist outside of human thought, reality operates at different levels, and much is hidden), so we differ here, Rosa.

But, as I have shown, all such (philosophical) theories are non-sensical.

Quote:
As to 'proof', it requires a framework of reference, and I suspect what I would regard as 'proof', you wouldn't.

I'm not too sure what you mean by 'framework', or why you need one. Surely your belief in the 'outside world' is far more secure than your belief in such a 'framework'. So, it's not too clear what the latter can offer you.

Quote:
But I must say, I think many of your criticisms about 'dialectics' still seem to stand, even outside of your philosophical approach.

But, as I have pointed out several times, I don't have a 'philosophical approach'.

S. Artesian
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Mar 13 2012 21:54
Quote:
No, it's part of the scientific theory called historical materialism, and hence, it isn't the least bit philosophical.

That's hilarious since you have yet, in any venue, demonstrate your grasp of historical materialism, never once placing any facet of Marx's own analysis into its historical context, much less undertaking a materialist exploration of the actual development of capitalism.

At every opportunity you duck the challenge of linking Marx's analysis in the 3 volumes of capital to historical materialism.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 13 2012 23:24

SA still prevaricating and ducking, as I predicted (in the dialectics thread):

Quote:
And I predict that you will deflect attention from it or avoid it some more -- since you can't answer it without admitting that the only reason you have for using 'contradiction' in the way you do is a slavish adherence to tradition.

Ducker:

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I haven't ducked a thing. I've refused to engage in your absurd, irrelevant discussions about whether or not a chair hidden in an attic that nobody knows about is a use value.

But my conclusions followed from your changing definitions of use value.

First you tried to palm this off on us:

Quote:
A use-value is an object that satisfies a human want, need, desire,

Then this:

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a use-value is an object that can satisfy a human, want, need, or desire

The first, since it's in the present continuous tense, implies that if no one knows about that chair, then they can't want, need or desire it. So, it can't be a use value.

The second implies that if I want something to be a use value, it is -- so if I want wood to be a use value for lightning, it is.

Your definitions sunshine; you deal with them.

And you have ducked this, too (just as you did at RevLeft):

Quote:
Assuming you are 100% right about Marx and 'the dialectic mehtod', other than appealing to tradition, what justification do you have for using 'contradiction' in the way you do?

Deafening silence on your part, as I have predicted several times, and I can safely predict you'll continue to duck it.

Quote:
You have ducked all practical inquiries regarding your assertions--that there are exchange values without use values; that some time between 1857 and 1867 Marx extirpated Hegel; that this supposed "demystification" by the mature Marx of the "pre-mature" Marx has any meaning whatsoever.

1) I have shown that there can be exchange values without use vales (which follows from your defective 'definition') -- would you like me to repeat it?

Ok, just for you:

Quote:
A woman buys a house and contents for $1,000,000. In the cellar there is an antique chair which she knows nothing about, and neither does anyone else. Five years later she sells the house and contents for $1,500,000, still knowing nothing of that chair.

Now according to your defective definition of use value (which, despite being warned to be careful, you unswisely put in the present continuous tense):

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A use-value is an object that satisfies a human want, need, desire,

that chair isn't a use value -- since it does not satisfy, and has not (for at least five years) satisfied a:

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human want, need, desire

And that's because no one knows about it.

Even so, it has an exchange value.

2) I haven't ducked this either:

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some time between 1857 and 1867 Marx extirpated Hegel

Now, you might have missed this before, so, again, just for you, I'll repeat it:

In the Afterword to the second edition of Das Kapital, Marx added the only summary of 'the dialectic method' he published in his entire life, and although he didn't write it, he did endorse it as 'the dialectic method'.

However, that summary contains not one atom of Hegel -- no 'contradictions', no 'unity of opposites', no 'negation of the negation', no 'quantity passing over into quality', no 'internal relations', etc., etc.

So, the only summary of 'the dialectic method' that carries Marx's imprimature has no Hegel anywhere in it, upside down or the 'right way up'.

Now, if you can show that your mystical version is correct -- using a passage published by Marx, contemporaneous with or subsequent to the above -- , then let's see.

Until you do, the weight of evidence -- i.e., Marx's own words -- supports the conclusion that between the writing of the Grundrisse and Das Kapital, he extirpated Hegel from his theory.

So, if anyone is ducking the issue, it's you my fine mystical friend.

If you have access to that missing passage, may I suggest you keep it hidden no longer.

If not, then you'd be wise to take heed of Marx's published words, wouldn't you?

Quote:
that this supposed "demystification" by the mature Marx of the "pre-mature" Marx has any meaning whatsoever

Not so, it follows from Marx's own admission that he had removed Hegel from his theory.

But you reply:

Quote:
You cannot provide any material evidence for these assertions. Instead you rely on a deliberate distortion of an afterword to the 2nd edition of volume 1.

Which part of that summary of 'the dialectic method' have I 'distorted'?

By way of contrast, you totally ignore it.

Quote:
That's all there is, has been, and will ever be to any discussion with you: no material, substantive change in Marx; no evidence for your assertions; deliberate distortion of an afterword to and edition of Capital that you have never read.

May I refer you back to the summary of 'the dialectic method'?

Why not? Since you prefer to ignore it.smile

Quote:
You cannot explain a single category of Marx; you cannot answer a single question about Marx's analysis of value; you can't clarify the very points that many people find so difficult in volume 1 and that many consider to be Marx's demonstration of his dialectic-- including those people who disagree with dialectics.

There is nothing of substance in anything you write about Marx's work, since Marx's work is first and foremost the analysis of the opposition, the conflict, the contradiction, as he repeatedly identifies it, between labor and the conditions of labor

This from the man who forgot that Marx included in his definition of the coquetted version of 'contradiction' that it involved unities of opposites that 'mutually exclude one another' -- and had to be reminded by little old me -- and whose 'definiton' of use value implies that if an obejct is forgotten about, it's no longer a use value! laugh out loud

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The hot air, and the empty head, are all yours.

Very touching, but I don't think it at all appropriate that you devote yourself body and soul to me, thank you very much!

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 13 2012 23:24

The Great Ducker and Prevaricator:

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That's hilarious since you have yet, in any venue, demonstrate your grasp of historical materialism, never once placing any facet of Marx's own analysis into its historical context, much less undertaking a materialist exploration of the actual development of capitalism.

Again:

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This from the man who forgot that Marx included in his definition of the coquetted version of 'contradiction' that it involved unities of opposites that 'mutually exclude one another' -- and had to be reminded by little old me -- and whose 'definiton' of use value implies that if an obejct is forgotten about, it's no longer a use value!

Ducker:

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At every opportunity you duck the challenge of linking Marx's analysis in the 3 volumes of capital to historical materialism.

Not so, as my last post demonstrated.

But, as I predicted you did manage to duck this:

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Assuming you are 100% right about Marx and 'the dialectic mehtod', other than appealing to tradition, what justification do you have for using 'contradiction' in the way you do?
Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 13 2012 23:15

Jura:

Quote:
I'm quite surprised to see this given how much you go on about Hume, Frege, Church or Russell, but anyhow: An argument is a valid deductive argument iff if the premises are true, then the conclusion cannot be untrue. That's pretty much the standard definition.

Abduction or reduction is a type of non-deductive argument, because the premises may well be true, but the conclusion can still be false. The premises do not entail the conclusion. Hence, the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion. Reliance on non-deductive arguments then has to be justified by appeal to something else than purely logical relations like that of entailment. One way of doing it is by appeal to previous experience – i.e. non-deductive arguments have worked in "everyday life" in the past, hence they will work now or in the future – but that is a non-deductive argument again (hence the justification is circular). If you really have some philosophical training, you should know this as the problem of induction (Hume). Anyway, it's impossible to justify non-deductive reasoning without taking philosophical (THE HORROR!) positions (e.g. about the existence of the external world, about degrees of certainty of human knowledge, about causal relationships between the past and the present etc.). Hence you either give up all non-deductive arguments (bad idea, in my view) or start thinking about the philosophical presuppositions implicit in your supposedly anti-philosophical approach.

You seem to be wedded to a very narrow notion of logic.

Abductive inferences in everyday life (and in many of the social sciences) are quite safe -- they only come unstuck in philosophy. They no more need 'justifying' than your (everyday) use of 'justify' does,

But: how many more 'just a few more goes' is it before they run out? You neglected to say.

Or has my work been 'peer reviewed' in the last 24 hours?

And where do I go on about Alonzo Church? I mentioned him in passing twice in one Essay!

And where have I even so much as tried to justify deductive reasoning?

[Why do the words 'clutching' and 'straws' come to mind here?]

You'd be far better occupied spending your time 1) Criticising what I actually post, not what you would like me to have posted, and 2) Justifying your odd use of 'contradiction'. [And good luck with that one!]

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Anyway, so what do you think it is that makes your argument ("Marx does not use Hegelian terms in his summary of the dialectical method, therefore Marx's dialectical method has nothing to do with Hegel") plausible? And not only plausible, but stronger and more plausible than my (obviously non-deductive) argument :

Not at all; the summary in the Afterword is hard evidence (and it's very persuasive, too, since it's the only summary of 'the dialectic method' Marx published in his entire life), which when coupled with other evidence I have (see my site, Essay Nine Part One), supports a reasonable conclusion -- the one I have drawn

And it will remain reasonable until you, or the other mystics here, show otherwise -- which you have signally failed to do.

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Marx explicitly says that the "Hegelian 'contradiction'" is the source of all dialectic. Marx uses the word "contradiction" often in his Economic Manuscripts. Therefore Marx thought that his dialectical method, as applied in his Economic Manuscripts, shares similiarities with Hegel's method.

We have been over this several times. This odd interpretation must commit you to this whacko belief:

1) That Plato employed the 'Hegelian contradiction'!

But that imples:

2) Hegel did not discover the so-called 'Hegelian' contradiciton', Plato did!

And thus:

3) Marx was wrong to call it 'the Hegelian contradiction', after all!

But, back in the real world, what evidence have you that supports the assertion that the 'Hegelian contradiction' is to be found in Plato or Aristotle?

If you have none, then either Marx was an idiot, or my interpretation still stands.

Take your pick...

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 13 2012 23:18

Jura (still having just a 'few more goes' at this non-peer-reviewed crtitic!):

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BTW, Rosa, if you are the anti-dialectical Copernicus you think you are, you should be able to do more than repeat a few theses about the Afterword and some isolated passages. I admit that an interpretation of Marx's Capital that could do without any Hegelian categories and result in a critique of political economy with an explanatory power equal or superior to its Hegelian competitors would be a fatal blow to the tradition, cutting it off like Occam's razor.

Ah, but I also reject Occham's razor... smile

And patience, please, I need to kill this Hermetic Virus before healing can begin.

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The challenge for both Ptolemy and Copernicus were phenomena like retrograde motion. I think some of the challenges for an anti-Hegelian, anti-dialectical marxist are 1. the concepts of "immanent" and "external" measure of value from Zur Kritik (mostly implicit in Capital), 2. the section on the form of value (notably the nature of the argument proceeding from the elementary to the money form), 3. the paradoxical situation at the beginning of Ch2, 4. paradoxical situation at the end of the part on the transformation of money into capital. The point is to interpret these parts without recourse to Hegelian categories while achieving all of the important content achieved by "Hegelian" interpretations.

If you can do at least one I think it would add a lot of persuasiveness to your position.

You have me completely wrong. I'm' not trying to persuade anyone.

Just as it will take massive social change to rid the planet of religious mysticism, it will also take massive social change to rid humanity of the boss-class mysticism you lot have allowed to colonise your brains.

I stand no chance.

You lot need materialist workers to save you from yourselves...

jura's picture
jura
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Mar 13 2012 23:41
Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
Abductive inferences in everyday life (and in many of the social sciences) are quite safe -- they only come unstuck in philosophy. They no more need 'justifying' than your (everyday) use of 'justify' does,

Is the abductive inference

The Sun moves across the sky during the day, therefore the Sun revolves around the Earth.

safe?

If it isn't, why are your abductive inferences safe? You see, my ultimate point in this debate is not whether abductive inferences can be justified (I think they can, but not without at least some minimal philosophical presuppositions), but what makes your particular abductive inferences about Marx's method better than others. So far (and contrary to what you say), you've only given one substantial piece of evidence for a non-Hegelian method in Capital – the Afterword.

Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
2) Justifying your odd use of 'contradiction'. [And good luck with that one!]

I think I've done enough to explain my views on Marx's method of theory construction and his use of "contradictions" as means of introducing new categories. The posts can be found in this and the other current thread (and maybe in some other threads around here). As one would expect from a troll, you took no time to try and participate in the debate that has been going on here and started to propagandize your views right away. Otherwise you would have known that my position has nothing to do with dialectical materialism, nothing to do with logical contradictions and nothing at all to do with mysticism. There is nothing mystical or irrational about Marxian dialectics.

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Not at all; the summary in the Afterword is hard evidence (and it's very persuasive, too, since it's the only summary of 'the dialectic method' Marx published in his entire life), which when coupled with other evidence I have (see my site, Essay Nine Part One), supports a reasonable conclusion -- the one I have drawn.

I'm sorry, but I can't see a single quote from Capital in "Essay Nine Part One" other than those from the Afterword. I'm not interested in Engels, Lenin or Ollman, you know. They are completely irrelevant in the debate on Marx's dialectic in Capital, at least in my view. I guess I even agree with your criticisms of these people (though they're not particularly novel, but you know that). That's why I asked you (several times) to demonstrate your understanding of Marx's method on the actual material from Capital. Can you understanding of Marx's method provide an interpretation of the systematic relationship between commodities and money which would be as thorough-going as those coming from Hegel-influenced authors (e.g. those from the German Neue-Marx-Lektüre)? That's the kind of evidence I'm interested in.

Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
We have been over this several times. This odd interpretation must commit you to this whacko belief:

1) That Plato employed the 'Hegelian contradiction'!

But that imples:

2) Hegel did not discover the so-called 'Hegelian' contradiciton', Plato did!

And thus:

3) Marx was wrong to call it 'the Hegelian contradiction', after all!

First of all, your argument does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the sentence. You are simply saying that the conclusion I'm drawing from the sentence cannot hold. Fair enough, but you are not accounting for the content of the sentence in any way. (I can understand that the German original may have surprised you, but you should come up with something and not just ignore it.)

Second, your argument is based on the presupposition that simply because Plato and other ancient Greek philosophers used the term "dialectic", Marx's expression "all dialectic" refers to them, as well as to Hegel and others who used the term.

But it may well be like this:

1. Marx's expression "All dialectic" refers to the dialectic as a method of presenting a system of categories (in the sense of a shorthand for "all useful dialectic" or "all relevant dialectic", from Marx's point of view). 2. The "Hegelian 'contradiction'", in the sense of the category, is indispenseble to such method. 3. The Marxian presentation of economic categories in Capital is based on a reformulation of Hegel's method (as emphasized in the Afterword), keeping a modified notion of the Hegelian "contradiction" as its fundament.

The evidence for this is the copious occurence of the word "contradiction" in Capital, as well as the fact that the introduction of almost all of the fundamental categories of Marx's theory of value takes the form of the solution of a paradox (the introduction of money in Ch1 and Ch2, the analysis of the labor process following the antinomy of surplus-value arising in circulation & surplus-value not arising in circulation etc.). This, in my view, is a clear structural similarity between the Science of Logic and Capital (not to mention the similarities in presentation between Grundrisse and Capital, which are undeniable). And that is why Marx said that Hegel's Logic was of great service to him when working on his project. It provided him with the key to constructing a systematic exposition of his critique of bourgeois economy.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 14 2012 05:58

Jura:

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Is the abductive inference

The Sun moves across the sky during the day, therefore the Sun revolves around the Earth.

safe?

This isn't an everyday inference.

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If it isn't, why are your abductive inferences safe? You see, my ultimate point in this debate is not whether abductive inferences can be justified (I think they can, but not without at least some minimal philosophical presuppositions), but what makes your particular abductive inferences about Marx's method better than others. So far (and contrary to what you say), you've only given one substantial piece of evidence for a non-Hegelian method in Capital – the Afterword.

Well, I have given you my reasons; either you produce written evidence contemporaneous with Das Kapital or subsequent to it, published by Marx, or withdraw into an SA-like sulk.

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I think I've done enough to explain my views on Marx's method of theory construction and his use of "contradictions" as means of introducing new categories. The posts can be found in this and the other current thread (and maybe in some other threads around here). As one would expect from a troll, you took no time to try and participate in the debate that has been going on here and started to propagandize your views right away. Otherwise you would have known that my position has nothing to do with dialectical materialism, nothing to do with logical contradictions and nothing at all to do with mysticism. There is nothing mystical or irrational about Marxian dialectics.

Which is, of course, Jura-speak for 'Sorry, I can't justify it' -- also, just like SA.

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I'm sorry, but I can't see a single quote from Capital in "Essay Nine Part One" other than those from the Afterword.

You need to read what I posted in my last response to you more carefully, then.

But, you have yet to produce a single quotation that supports your view -- other than the one you thought was in Volume 3, but which, on your interpretation brands Marx an idiot.

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I'm not interested in Engels, Lenin or Ollman, you know. They are completely irrelevant in the debate on Marx's dialectic in Capital, at least in my view.

Who said you were?

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I guess I even agree with your criticisms of these people (though they're not particularly novel, but you know that). That's why I asked you (several times) to demonstrate your understanding of Marx's method on the actual material from Capital. Can you understanding of Marx's method provide an interpretation of the systematic relationship between commodities and money which would be as thorough-going as those coming from Hegel-influenced authors (e.g. those from the German Neue-Marx-Lektüre)? That's the kind of evidence I'm interested in.

Fine, but what has this got to do with my argument? Nothing, that's what.

Any chance you sticking to the point?

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First of all, your argument does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the sentence. You are simply saying that the conclusion I'm drawing from the sentence cannot hold. Fair enough, but you are not accounting for the content of the sentence in any way. (I can understand that the German original may have surprised you, but you should come up with something and not just ignore it.)

I disagree -- but since your view pictures Marx as an idiot, I think mine is superior.

Especially when he had already indicated that 'the dialectic method' contains no Hegel at all.

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Second, your argument is based on the presupposition that simply because Plato and other ancient Greek philosophers used the term "dialectic", Marx's expression "all dialectic" refers to them, as well as to Hegel and others who used the term.

Then Marx was wrong -- not 'all dialectic' is based on the 'Hegelian contradcition', after all.

Unless you think Marx was unaware that the dialectic was invented by the Ancient Greeks.

My interpretation cuts through all this.

Mmm, stilll can't figure out which is superior... roll eyes

But you reply:

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1. Marx's expression "All dialectic" refers to the dialectic as a method of presenting a system of categories (in the sense of a shorthand for "all useful dialectic" or "all relevant dialectic", from Marx's point of view). 2. The "Hegelian 'contradiction'", in the sense of the category, is indispenseble to such method. 3. The Marxian presentation of economic categories in Capital is based on a reformulation of Hegel's method (as emphasized in the Afterword), keeping a modified notion of the Hegelian "contradiction" as its fundament.

I note you have to add to Marx's words to make this 'work'. Well, we can all do that:

So when Marx said this:

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He is as much at home in absurd contradictions, as he feels at sea in the Hegelian contradiction, the source of all dialectic.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch24.htm#S3

He really meant this:

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He is as much at home in absurd contradictions, as he feels at sea in the Hegelian contradiction, the source of all dialectic going back to Plato.

If you can add stuff, so can I.

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The evidence for this is the copious occurence of the word "contradiction" in Capital, as well as the fact that the introduction of almost all of the fundamental categories of Marx's theory of value takes the form of the solution of a paradox (the introduction of money in Ch1 and Ch2, the analysis of the labor process following the antinomy of surplus-value arising in circulation & surplus-value not arising in circulation etc.). This, in my view, is a clear structural similarity between the Science of Logic and Capital (not to mention the similarities in presentation between Grundrisse and Capital, which are undeniable). And that is why Marx said that Hegel's Logic was of great service to him when working on his project. It provided him with the key to constructing a systematic exposition of his critique of bourgeois economy.

Except we already know Marx was merely 'coquetting' with this word in Das Kapital. How do we know? Marx told us.

And, as we also know, other than appealing to tradition, you can't justify the use of this word in such an odd way.

--------------------------

So, where has my work been 'peer reviewed'?

That's the only reason you said you would 'talk' with me -- and I think we passed the 'a few more goes' mile post a while back.

syndicalistcat's picture
syndicalistcat
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Mar 14 2012 20:31

me:

Quote:
abduction is self-justifying, that is, it can be justified abductively.

you:

Quote:
First of all, the "justification" you hint at is completely circular, and that was exactly my (and Hume's) point. If you wish to give a justification for a kind of inference, and this justification relies on the same kind of inference, you haven't justified anything.

a dogmatic deductivist i see. oh well. your criticism begs the question by the way. that's because "circularity" is only a defect of linear chains of reasoning, such as deductions. but abduction is not a linear form of reasoning, since conclusions can derive support in various ways, including from other hypotheses they fit in with.

I've never seen a proposed distinction between "scientific" and "philosophical" that holds up. it may be possible to characterize the methods of some scientific community in ways that bring out the distinctness of their intellectual turf, but i doubt there is any clearcut distinction between "science" and "philosophy." over on revleft i had challenged RL to provide such a distinction and, as far as i can recall, she provided no satisfactory answer. also, there are certainly many sorts of work called "philosophy" that are of little credence.

as to the fact we can't survive without in fact engaging in abductive inference, it is relevant since any plausible view of the ability of humans to obtain warranted beliefs has to be based on the actual human condition and capacities, that is, how humans do in fact find out about the world. being evolved creatures, our capacities have something to do with our ability to survive in the actual environment our species lives in.

jura's picture
jura
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Mar 14 2012 20:27

I'm not a dogmatic deductivist at all, FFS. You obviously haven't bothered to read my post. I think abductive inference can be justified, but not just by itself or by saying it "just works" (because it often doesn't). How on Earth could I be a marxist and a dogmatic deductivist when the first serious argument that Marx makes in Capital (about abstract labor), is actually not a valid deductive argument?

syndicalistcat's picture
syndicalistcat
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Mar 14 2012 20:36
Quote:
I think abductive inference can be justified

this wasn't clear to me in what you were saying.

Hume's empiricist critique, which you cite positively, was based on the classic philosophical assumption that warrant for belief must be deductive.

I agree with what you say about how deductivism would be inconsistent with Marx's own methods.