[OPE-L:3137] Re: Bottom line: idealism v. materialism

From: JERRY LEVY (jlevy@sescva.esc.edu)
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 06:21:12 EDT

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Re Paul Z's [OPE-L:3131]:

The demand for scholarship is not idealist. Rather, it is a demand
for certain *standards* in the production of scholarly works.
Indeed, it can also be legitimately applied to students. E.g. if a
student were to submit a term paper on Darwin without including any
works by Darwin, should any objection to this practice be labeled
"idealist"? I strongly suspect that if a student were to submit a
term paper on Althusser without any references by Althusser, then
you would comment -- among other things -- that if the student
wanted to write a term paper on Althusser, then s/he has the
responsibility to read and cite Althusser in the paper.

I imagine that you have certain "idealist" expectations for
those who submit articles for publication to _Research in Political
Economy_. Indeed, some of these standards are published and
made available to prospective writers.

Suppose that an artcle on "The influence of Grossmann on Mattick"
was submitted to the _RPE_. Suppose further that there were no
writings by Grossmann cited in the "Bibliography" and end notes.
Indeed, suppose that the writer of the article claimed that was
unnecessary to read Grossmann since there are secondary sources
on the relationship of Grossmann to Mattick and that Mattick,
at various points, discussed GRossmann. If the referees were
to reject the article and the author appealed, would you tell
the referees that their expectations are "idealist"?

I could, of course, think of many other hypothetical examples.
(And, btw, the creation of hypothetical examples is not by
itself "idealist"). The bottom line is that writers have the
responsibility of living-up to certain standards of

If you don't want to read Hegel, then don't. I can't make you.
But, in that case, whatever you have to say about the
relationship of Hegel to Marx, based on a reading of Marx and
secondary sources, has to be discounted.

In solidarity, Jerry

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