[OPE-L:8707] Re: Exchange, value

From: Michael Eldred (artefact@t-online.de)
Date: Fri Apr 04 2003 - 05:26:01 EST

Cologne 04-Apr-2003

Re: [OPE-L:8703]

clyder@gn.apc.org schrieb Thu, 3 Apr 2003 14:29:22 +0100:

> Quoting Michael Eldred <artefact@t-online.de>:
> > My criticism does not depend on whether one seeks to verify a linear or a
> > non-linear (polynomial, exponential, etc. etc.) hypothesis, but in the
> > precasting
> > of thought which can allow the phenomena to appear only quantitatively. The
> > phenomena have to be quantitatively formalized at the outset.
> It was you who raised the question of linear models, I was
> replying to your criticism in your quote:
>  > > For this mathematical scientific approach to work, from the outset it has
> to
>  > > be presupposed that there are linear mathematical relations among the
>  > > variables.

That was a response to your talk of a "scalar variable".

> > The social scientific approach to the phenomenon of value is on a different
> > 'planet' from the phenomenological-ontological approach. One could take the
> > standpoint, as you seem to do, that it's only the mathematically formulable
> > questions which are relevant for doing (Marxist) social science and that the
> > philosophically prior questions are an optional extra, even a kind of
> > "rococo
> > ornament" (Rosa Luxemburg). But the phenomenon of value and its concept are
> > purported to form the foundation of (the critique of) political economy.
> > Such
> > foundational concepts must rely on philosophical questioning for their
> > grounding.
> >
> > There is a parallel here with the natural sciences. Newton's laws of motion
> > provide a foundation for doing modern mathematical physics, but the
> > fundamental
> > concept of movement remains totally unclarified.
> I beg do differ here, the introduction of the differential
> calculus clarified things greatly.
> What is unclear about motion in Newtonian physics?

As always, the most fundamental questions are left unasked. What Newtonian
mechanics has to offer on motion is paltry. Cartesian-Newtonian (baldly) _defines_
motion as v = s/t (uniform motion) or v = ds/dt (employing the differential
calculus) and discusses the reference system for motion, whether it is an absolute
reference system or only a relative reference system. What motion is, what place
is, what time is, is already presupposed and not discussed. Motion is assumed to
be change of place -- locomotion.

Aristotle, by contrast, approaches the phenomenon of change/turnover (_metabolae_)
in beings that move of themselves, i.e. physical beings. Movement is not
restricted to change of place (locomotion) but comprises four kinds of movement.
Time and place are not presupposed as homogenous mathematical variables, but are
themselves questioned. Movement is investigated as a mode of being of certain
kinds of being, _physei onta_, natural beings. Time itself is shown to be "the
number of movement with regard to before and after" (Phys. Delta 11 219b2).

Aristotle also has an explicit ontology of continuity (_synecheia_), something
entirely lacking in the differential calculus. The continuous among physical
beings are those which literally 'hold themselves together' (_synechein_). The
modern mathematical formalization of continuity (quite late) in terms of limits
(deltas and epsilons) doesn't come close to Aristotle.

In order to come to terms with the phenomenon of movement, of change, Aristotle
has to develop his fundamental metaphysical concepts, viz. _dynamis_, _energeia_,
_entelecheia_. The investigation of these phenomena in the Physics is unparalleled
in the whole of philosophy, let alone in Cartesian-Newtonian physics. We just have
to learn to open our eyes, which is hard to do.

Note: _metabolae_ also means "exchange, barter" (literally it means 'turnover' or
'throwover'), and Aristotle refers to use (_chreia_) as "holding everything
together" (_panta synechein_) in exchange, i.e. exchange can be seen as a relation
of sociation among human beings living together. Exchange is a practice connecting
human beings with one another and thus a social cell form. Marx's form-analysis
goes some way toward investigating the ontology of commodity exchange, but, as I
have sketched in previous posts, I think the ontology of exchange can be deepened.

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_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ Dr Michael Eldred -_-_-

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