[OPE-L:3128] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Marx -> Hegel -> Spinoza -> Epicurus -> ?

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Thu May 11 2000 - 15:14:37 EDT

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Re Paul Z's [OPE-L:3127]:

> >btw, I haven't read Spinoza in any depth and -- following my own advice
> >-- won't enter into a debate about the influence of Spinoza on Hegel.
> So, you'll discuss Hegel on your terms, while side-stepping any
> Althusserian-influenced terms! That leaves me out.

I hadn't realized that we were debating Spinoza or the influence of
Spinoza on Althusser.

> Bottom line: Nothing is accomplished on this list by telling another
> person to read someone (such is for our daughters and sons to hear from
> teachers), particularly as a general admonish to an writer and not to a
> specific paragraph. If we don't read FROM OUR OWN MOTIVATION nothing very
> good will come out of it from either point of view. Thus, there is no
> point in your telling Rakesh to "read Hegel", nor for me to tell you to
> "read Spinoza" (or Althusser).
> If the need arises to defend Rakesh again, it will be done.

Feel free to "defend" Rakesh whenever you want to -- although I think he
is quite capable of speaking for himself.

The bottom line is, from my perspective: scholarship.

On other lists there have been those who have dismissed Althusser even
though they have never read anything that Althusser has written (just
negative critiques of Althusser). When I was on some of those lists
(PEN-L a few years ago comes to mind) I made the same argument in defense
of Althusser. I.e. that the critics of Althusser have the responsibility
to *read Althusser* before putting forward a critique of Althusser. On
another list (the old marxism list a few years ago), I believe I made the
same remark in regard to Sraffa. I.e. read him before you dismiss his
works. Similarly, in academic institutions I have heard all kinds of
remarks about what Marx said from those who admitted that they have never
read Marx. My response was the same.

In solidarity, Jerry

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