[OPE-L:2713] Re: Marx's relationship to Hegel

From: C. J. Arthur (cjarthur@pavilion.co.uk)
Date: Tue Apr 04 2000 - 14:25:35 EDT

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>This is what Marx wrote about his relationship to Hegel, in a footnote
>in _Capital_, Vol. II:
>"In a review of the first volume of _Capital_, Mr. Duehring notes that,
>in my zealous devotion to the schema of Hegelian logic, I even discovered
>the Hegelian forms of the syllogism in the process of circulation. My
>relationship with Hegel is very simple. I am a disciple of Hegel, and
>the presumptuous chattering of the epigones who think they have buried
>this great thinker appear frankly ridiculous to me. Nevertheless, I have
>taken the liberty of adopting towards my master a critical attitude,
>disencumbering his dialectic of its mysticism and thus putting it through
>a profound change, etc."

In elucidation:
Hegel's forms of the syllogism at the most general level refers to the
logical relation between the categories Universality, particularity and
individuality, and the various orderings of these that may occur. Duehring
probably had in mind Marx's discussion of MCM on Capital Vol. I p.255-6.
This refers to the M-C-M circuit where the second M contains an increment.
But Marx does not quite say we have a syllogism here. D, as a scholar,
probably knew Marx's 1859 Contribution to the Critique, where the triad is
more explicit. There Marx applied these categories even to C-M-C: "The C at
the end of the two extremes of the circuit C-M-C has a different formal
relation to M. The first C is a particular commodity which is compared with
money as the universal commodity, whereas in the second phase money as the
universal commodity is compared with an individual commodity. The formula
C-M-C can therefore be reduced to the abstract logical syllogism P-U-I;
whereas particularity forms the first extreme, universality characterises
the common middle term and individuality signifies the final extreme."
(MECW 29 pp.330-31) This may not be immediately perspicuous unless it is
thought of in terms of the point of the two exchanges. In the first C-M,
the C as an individual has no interest for the exchanger who is
endeavouring to gain money (which as universal value itself exchanges
against all commodities); what interests him from this point of view is
merely that the C be some particularisation of the universal. In the second
exchange M-C, by contrast, the point is to secure, not just any C but the
one whose individual characteristics will satisfy a certain need.
Chris A

P. S. Please note that I have a new Email address,
but the old one will also run until the summer. (To be doubly sure load both!)

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