[OPE-L:5854] Re: form and content re value-form and abstract labour

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Tue Jun 12 2001 - 06:24:44 EDT

Hello Jerry,

> ii) Instead of 'aspect', why not say (as Hegel does) that a 'thing' has
> properties? Isn't the value-form a property of value?

In the general case properties of things can indeed be rendered as 
apsects of those things. I think the term 'aspect' is broader than 
'property' though. 'Aspect' emphasises partiality, but does not 
commit one to any conception of what we have abstracted from, of 
what the aspect is an aspect of. 'Property' emphasises the *thing* 
that has the property. The trouble with value is that, as Murray puts 
it, value is not a thing on the ordinary conception of things. It does 
not behove to a logic of Being, rather to a logic of reflection. So I 
am a little uneasy about calling the value-form a property of value, 
since it tends to make value sound like an ordinary thing like any 
other. 'Aspect' makes no such commitment.

> iii) By your reading, what is the 'thing-in-itself'  re value?  Note that,
> as Hegel wrote elsewhere (_Hegel's Logic_, p. 72), "there is nothing 
> that we can know so easily" as the thing-in-itself.   He wrote that the 
> thing-in-itself  "expresses the object when we leave out of sight all that 
> consciousness makes of it, all its emotional aspects, and all specific 
> thoughts of it. It is easy to see what is left -- utter abstraction, total 
> emptiness, only described still as an 'other-world'  -- the negative of 
> every image, feeling, and definite thought" (Ibid).

Congealed abstract labour. But I don't think the interpretation of 
your citation from Hegel above is unproblematic, far from it. The 
notion of 'thing-in-itself' as an *utter abstraction* is one that I think 
that Hegel ultimately rejects. The fact that it is appropriate to value 
tells us about the peculiarity of value, therefore.



> In solidarity, Jerry

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