[OPE-L:8636] Re: Re: probabilistic approaches to the theory of value and philosophy

From: Philip Dunn (pscumnud@dircon.co.uk)
Date: Wed Mar 19 2003 - 14:23:22 EST

gerald_a_levy <gerald_a_levy@msn.com> said:

> (In the belief that the list can chew bubble gum and walk at the
> same time, we can  simultaneously discuss abstract theory -- such 
> as the following -- and more immediate events.)
> A further question on Phil's [8570]:
> > Exchange-value is accidental because it falls under the category of
> > relation.  Intrinsic value is accidental because it falls under the 
> > category of  quantity.
> What is the basis for asserting that categories of relation and quantity
> (and  doesn't quantity itself  express a relation?) are accidental?   Is 
> this somehow related to a Aristotelian conception of 'accidental'?

Clearly, quantity can express a relation -- as in exchange ratio, or 'one foot
taller'. But 6 feet tall would not I think be counted as a relation by Aristotle.

This is related to Aristotle's Categories of Being. The first category is
Substance, consisting of essential properties. All the other categories
(position, relation, quantity etc) contain accidental properties.

I was thinking about the following passage from Capital I ch 1 p2:

Exchange-value appears first of all as a quantitative relation, the
proportion in which use-values of one kind exchange for use-values of
another kind. This relation changes constantly with time and place. 
Hence exchange-value appears to be something accidental and purely
relative, and consequently an intrinsic value, i.e. an exchange-value
that is inseparably connected with the commodity, inherent in it,
seems a contradiction in terms.

My take on this is:

Exchange ratios and 'relative prices' are relative in a sense that a money
prices are not.  All are relative in the strict sense that they fall under the
category of relation but money prices, taken in a non-dualist sense, can be
said to be equal-or-unequal to value. An _absolute_ price is the value of the
money that the commodity sells for. Absolute price is still accidental and
fluctuate with time and place.  Intrinsic value is clearly non-relational in
the strict sense. It is also an accidental property of the commodity: it can
certainly change.  The question is: is intrinsic value equal or unequal to
absolute price?

The standard non-dualist approach goes _partially_ for equality but at the
cost  of the embodied labour interpretation of value. The value of constant
capital is not its embodied labour value but taken to be equal to its absolute
cost.  The commodity is produced with one value and productively consumed with
another.  In standard notation:

                py = lx    (i.e the MELT is constant and equal to 1)

                v = a + pA

where p is the absolute market price vector and v is the produced value
vector. The problem is that if the value transferred, pA, is not embodied
labour then v cannot be embodied labour. The signature of embodied labour is
that the embodied labour of the produced commodity is the sum of the newly
embodied labour, a, and the embodied labour transferred.

This is why I go for _complete_ equality.  The value of the produced commodity
is identical with the labour embodied in it and equal to its absolute price.
This abolished price-value deviations even at the disaggregated level.  Value
is always conserved in circulation. The valorisation process then becomes
non-deterministic.  There is a deviation between actual value added as
recognised in the product market via absolute prices and potential value added
as recognised by wages in the labour market.




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