[OPE-L:5198] Re: Re: Re: Re: use-value as qualitative

From: Steve Keen (s.keen@uws.edu.au)
Date: Sat Mar 17 2001 - 21:41:31 EST

Well let's stick to a topic worthy of discussion then. What is your take on 
the statement that "exchange-value and use-value [are] intrinsically 
incommensurable magnitudes". Do you accept that as at least prima facie 
evidence that in some instances Marx did contemplate that use-value could 
be quantitative?

PS I know you do actually engage me on this Jerry, and I appreciate that--I 
was just a bit taken aback at how this particular instance of engagement began.

At 05:14 PM 3/17/01 -0500, you wrote:
>Re Steve K's [5193]:
>Steve wrote:
>I'm rather lucky that my PC crashed before I could reply to this, because 
>it gave me the chance to take a few deep breaths. I am accustomed to 
>asking others on this list to "read my lips", but not you. I choose my 
>words fairly carefully in my posts, and I would appreciate if you would 
>read them carefully.
>I did NOT say that "qualitative issues lie outside of Marx's analysis". I 
>said that "qualitative issues form no part of his CORE analysis" (even 
>that statement I qualified. And of course, my statement was in contrast to 
>the neoclassicals--which further qualifies it).
>I'm sorry if I misunderstood the points you were
>making and didn't read your post as carefully as I should have. BUT, even 
>as you explain your
>position above, I disagree with it. I think, rather,
>that qualitative issues DO form a part of his CORE
>analysis. His CORE analysis is of value and that
>concerns BOTH quality and quantity.
>Steve continued:
>But perhaps I didn't choose my words carefully enough. By "core", I meant 
>something like "foundation concepts from which he derived his pivotal 
>initial arguments on the source of value and determination of prices". I 
>hope that's clearer.
>It's clearer -- but again I disagree. He derived
>his pivotal early arguments based on an analysis
>of the commodity.   That was his starting point --
>not use-value nor exchange-value. It was only in
>the unfolding of the character of the commodity
>that the categories of use-value,  value, and
>exchange-value were introduced.
>Steve continues:
>So I agree with everything you posted about the role of quality, but it 
>makes no difference to my argument, or to the difference between us over 
>this initial issue: whether use-value can be quantitative in Marx's CORE 
>(as defined above) analysis, and whether I had or had not found at least 
>prima facie textual evidence to support that--for example, the statement 
>that "use-value and exchange-value are intrinsically incommensurable 
>I don't think it's "prima facie" evidence, but I
>agree that it is a quote worthy of discussion.
>You might want to ask yourself how categories
>which are "intrinsically incommensurable" can
>both be expressed quantitatively as magnitudes.
>It is only to the extent that the quality (use-value)
>can be expressed through the commodity-form
>and commodities have value and that value comes
>to be necessarily expressed through the value-form
>that magnitude has meaning for the commodity's
>(You might also want to see how the subject of
>magnitude unfolds and is a component part of the
>Hegelian logical system.)
>Steve continues:
>Now, from the next segment of your reply, it appears that you don't regard 
>this or any other textual excerpt I found as conclusive or even suggestive 
>of this interpretation.
>I just wanted to concentrate on what appeared to
>me to be the CORE differences in interpretation.
>It seemed a more fruitful way to discuss the topic
>rather than offering alternative explanations and
>readings of so many of the quotes cited. In some
>cases, especially in the early part of your post
>when you quoted Marx about the importance of
>use-value, I didn't comment because I agreed with
>those quotes. Therefore, there was nothing to
>discuss (especially since I made my perspectives
>on that issue known to you close to 6 years ago
>and on repeated occasions since).
>In any event, I've been the one who has been
>willing to talk to you about this -- that's more
>than others on this list have been willing to do lately.
>Steve closes:
>If so, I can't convince you, so as with so much else on this discussion 
>list, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
>That's up to you.  Hopefully, others will join in and
>we can have more than a 2 person exchange. But,
>listmembers discuss what they want to discuss and
>over time I have come to  realize that they don't
>always want to discuss the topics I want to discuss.
>Eventually, you may come to the same conclusion
>-- but I hope not.
>In solidarity, Jerry
>PS: Sorry about your computer. I hope there was
>no damage done to the machine ... after all, that
>would represent a premature loss of use-value.
>How can I tell that use-value has declined, you
>ask? I can tell because your computer takes
>the value-form and would have either a resale
>value, expressed in money, or no resale value
>at all (except, perhaps, as scrap).

Dr. Steve Keen
Senior Lecturer
Economics & Finance
Campbelltown, Building 11 Room 30,
School of Economics and Finance
s.keen@uws.edu.au 61 2 4620-3016 Fax 61 2 4626-6683
Home 02 9558-8018 Mobile 0409 716 088
Home Page: http://bus.macarthur.uws.edu.au/steve-keen/

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