Re: (OPE-L) RE: logical order and historical order

From: Howard Engelskirchen (howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM)
Date: Fri Feb 20 2004 - 11:47:10 EST

Re: (OPE-L) logical order and historical orderHi Jerry, 

Yes, there is much we agree on.  And the point I insist on is reflected very much in Marx's Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, and Notes on Wagner is important as well.  But I have to put this on hold for a week.  I'll write then.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Gerald A. Levy 
  Sent: Friday, February 20, 2004 7:58 AM
  Subject: [OPE-L] (OPE-L) RE: logical order and historical order

  Hi Howard

  >>> You say that the issue we discuss is the ordering of a reconstruction of the subject matter in thought.  My point is that the order of the ordering must follow the real character of the object, not the dictates of thought.  That point is glossed over in the simple pairing of logic and history. <<<

  I'm still trying to gauge the extent to which we agree and

  Let's recall that in this thread  I have been responding to 
  a position suggested by Rakesh in a post dated 2/6 in which
  he asserted that the ordering of  Marx's dialectical analysis 
  (actually, its *presentation*) follows "the actual historical
  movement".  I *agree with you* that logic and history shouldn't  
  be simply paired -- indeed, that was the main point I have
  been trying to make.  

  [NB: in a post responding to Rakesh, dated 2/11, I mentioned
  "Vorstellung".  Note that in the "Introduction" to the 
  _Grundrisse_ where Marx explains what is wrong with the
  starting point of the population he writes that "this would be a 
  chaotic conception [Vorstellung] of the whole .... "(Nicolaus 
  translation, p. 100).  There is also a reference to "Vorstellung"
  in the _Critique of Hegel's 'Philosophy of Right' (Cambridge,
  CUP, 1970, p. 69).  In the latter context, it is written as part
  of a critique of Hegel's concept of the state: for Hegel "the 
  state is a mere representation [eine blosse Vorstellung]" 
  (emphasis in original, JL).]

  You suggest that the ordering must follow the real character 
  of the object.  Yes.  But, how is that done? It is done through 
  the reconstruction of the subject matter (the "object") in 
  thought.  It is not done through a ordering that matches the
  historical appearance of the categories.

  >>>  For example, we abstract from the state form and present forms of production first because the determinations of the state form are less "simple."  Forms of state depend on how surplus value is pumped out.  This is not a matter of how we order things in thought, but of how the world works.   <<<

  "The way the world works" can only be comprehended in 
  thought.  There is no other way.  

  In solidarity, Jerry

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