[ show plain text ]
Another attempt to understand Andrew B's question.
Let's say we are analyzing the preparation of a dish. To understand its
attributes, we can refer to any combination of the following: its
ingredients (material), its form (recipe), the specific cook (its material
cause), or the reason it was prepared--say for an ordinary dinner or for a
wedding (its final cause).
Now Marx is saying that Ricardo understood commodity value only in terms of
its magnitude which he understood to be caused by the quantity of matter
realized therein. But Marx is saying that there are other attributes of
commodities, mysterious ones indeed, and that they can only be explained by
or are caused by the commodity form (and correlatively the relative and
equivalent forms) imposed on products of labor. To explain these mysteries
insofar as they are even recognized in terms of the commodity's matter (the
classical labor theory of value) is positively misleading. Moreover, Marx
is saying that the commodity form is the key to understanding the
historicity of the capitalist mode of production, and this too the
classical economists badly fumbled in their effort to make capitalism
eternal and natural.
Now of course Marx's analysis loses interest if there are not indeed
interesting attributes that are 'caused' by the form of the commodity being
imposed on products of labor.
But I need to know if there has been any analysis of Marx's value form
analysis in terms of the Aristotlean theory of causes--excpet for Murray's
in Moseley and Campbell, eds. It strikes me that Marx is simply
incomprehensible without understanding that he worked with an Aristotlean,
not so much Hegelian, conception of scientific causality.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Jun 30 2000 - 00:00:04 EDT