[OPE-L:2798] Marx's Method

From: Asfilho@aol.com
Date: Mon Apr 10 2000 - 05:07:24 EDT

[ show plain text ]

Could you please explain what you mean by a "problem" here, and how Marx's
logical method would change in response to different problems? When I talk
about Marx's logical method, I mean the logical method of
his general theory of capitalism. In this sense, there is only ONE
logical method - the one used to construct his general theory of
capitalism in Capital from the most abstract beginning - not a
multiplicity of logical methods for a multiplicity of problems.

'Problems' include anything we may want to analyse, from the systematic
reconstruction of capitalism to the falling rate of profit, East Asian
crisis, the stock market bubble, etc. I do not think that there is one single
key that can open all these doors, because these problems are at very
different levels of complexity and the balance and interaction between
concepts and history varies substantially between them. It's not that the
method itself will vary from problem to problem, but that the balance between
systematic dialectics, formal logic (including algebra, modelling,
econometrics), history, etc varies between problems and depends on the
specific objectives of the analysis.

I agree of course that Marx did not explain his logical method
enough. But on some points, he said quite a lot, and I would argue
consistently throughout his economic manuscripts, for example:
1. the initial presuppositions of his theory are quantities of
2. the prior determination of aggregate magnitudes
3. trying to explain the necessary connections between different aspects
of capitalism.
Do you agree with these points? Do you think these will change somehow in
order to analyze different problems?

I am not sure about point 1, but do agree with points 2-3. I would however
start from 3 as the main feature of Marx's work in Capital (and elsewhere).
In my view 2 is a consequence of 3, and 1 is contingent - but it is not clear
to me how *quantities* can be *theoretical presuppositions*.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 30 2000 - 19:59:43 EDT