Re: value and labour

From: Michael Eldred (artefact@T-ONLINE.DE)
Date: Thu May 15 2003 - 16:32:43 EDT

Cologne 15-May-2003

Andrew Brown schrieb   Wed, 14 May 2003 14:53:23 +0100:

> Hi Michael,
> Thanks for the very helpful overview.
> The bottom line is that we disagree, and we disagree at various
> levels, and our disagreement makes us political opponents.
> Nevertheless we do also agree on a number of issues, such as the
> inevitability of metaphysics, though, for me at least, this does not
> make metaphysics a priority any more than any other level of
> abstraction is a priority: any enquiry or debate or practice
> necessarily entails all levels of abstraction are at stake though few
> are made explicit.
> For what it is worth, I think that your own philosophy fails to
> adequately address the relationship between thought and being. I
> would trace the development of materialist dialectics from Spinoza
> (his critique of Descartes) through Hegel to Marx and Engels to do
> this (no doubt I would involve various ancient Greeks if only I had
> read them). You are just as much stuck in a failed problematic
> (where we apparently have to be experts on Greek philosophy if we
> are to fruitfully debate metaphysics at all), from my perspective, as
> I am from yours. For me the arbiter of truth on metaphysics as on
> everything else is material reality, not the ancient Greeks; the
> ultimate origin of terms is material reality.

Hi Andy,

Both matter and reality are questions. The term 'reality' has at least four
different meanings:
i) Truth
ii) Thingliness of the thing (from 'res' meaning 'thing')
iii) Being in the sense of existence
iv) Effectivity in the sense of a force being at work (Wirklichkeit,
_energeia_, at-work-ness),
each of which requires further elaborate explication.

The term 'matter' is also already heavily occupied by metaphysics, and is
instricably linked with its counterpart, 'form'. Aristotle introduces this
distinction between _hylae_ and _morphae_ or _eidos_ in the Physics and
carries on an alteraction with the position of the materialists such as the
sophist, Antiphon, who maintain that matter is the ultimate reality (cf.
Physics 193a).

> This is not to argue that
> a reading of Aristotle, for example, would not be extremely helpful,
> it is, rather, to argue that I can have a valied argument without
> having read him because I, like you (and him once upon a time) live
> in the material world.

In my experience, one can only find a firm foothold and orientation in
ontological-metaphysical questions by engaging with the primary texts in the
original languages.

> My amateur views stem from E.V. Ilyenkov's work by the way
> (check out his work if you want to see a proper engagement with
> Greeks and everyone else, rather than my desperately partial and
> amateur interpretation of the same)
> > So, Andy, you may think that my position is "extreme", but in truth it
> > is situated right in the middle of the deepest and ultimately most
> > ineluctable questions.
> From your perspective not mine. Your political views are clearly
> extreme *relative* to everyone else on this list, and we can surely
> both agree on that!

I can agree with you there, at least as far as the question of socialism is
concerned. I'm here for stimulus, not to agree on anything. In this forum I
am concerned with philosophical questions, not so much with political
differences. The debate on the phenomenon and concept of value is crucial,
among other things, because the interpretation of fundamental phenomena such
as value decides what kind of social science can arise from them. I think
that the fixation on a _law_ of value is a Cartesian metaphysical trap which
has in fact trapped Marxist economics. The phenomenon of value seems to me
to be a key to understanding what social human being is.

_-_-_-_-_-_-_-  artefact text and translation _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_- made by art  _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ _-_
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ Dr Michael Eldred -_-_-

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