[OPE-L:7246] hermeneutics (was: fundamentalism)

From: Geert REUTEN (reuten@fee.uva.nl)
Date: Thu May 23 2002 - 21:29:28 EDT

Re Jerry [7245]; Fred [7243]

I agree with all of Jerry's 7245 (including about Fred's important concern about applied empirical analysis).
The question of exploitation is important. However, what always puzzles me about a Marx hermeneutics is Marx's own development. It is obvious that Marx in the course of his research life was prepared to change is views (this imo marks the scientist). Why then -- even from Marx's own perspective -- would we have to stick to _for example_ the value-price transformation of a manuscript written prior to Capital, Vol I, the latter being a text that Marx kept on revising especially also its value-theoretical parts? This does not prove anything about the Cap III manuscripts, but it is just implausible that Marx -- would he have returned to them -- would have left them untouched.

Speaking for myself, I think that we should approach Marx historically, because he -- like anybody else -- deserves that. On the other hand, any scientific endeavor is served by development of thought. If you take seriously Marx's method of internal critique (which, I think, is ultimately, the most succinct part of his method, and a part that all Marxians can agree upon), then internal critique should also be levelled at Marx and all important Marxian writings after Marx.

Internal critique (of critical thought, and of the capitalist system -- the current capitalist system) also serves best the emancipation of all).

I am an enormously great admirer of Marx's Grundrisse or of his Capital I  from a 1858 or a 1867 perspective -- or of his Capital III manuscripts from a 1863-65 perspective. Even from a 2002 perspective I think that Marx's methodological foundations (historical materialism, internal critique, and systematic dialectic -- however immature the latter) are very fruitful. Marxian thought (in contradistinction to Marx's thought) is served by a  conjoint further development (in contradistinction to a hermeneutic) of method and content.


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