(OPE-L) Re: dialectics: 'new', 'systematic' and 'materialist'

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Mon Mar 15 2004 - 08:07:54 EST

Hi Andy.  Thanks for biting.

A couple of short points.

> While it can have a very broad connotation, in the 1999 paper I used the
> term 'new  dialectics' because it embraces the work of T.Smith, Geert
> Reuten/M.Williams and  Chris. My basic point in the paper is that new
> dialectics correctly stresses the need  to develop, or dialectically
> derive, concepts from abstract and simple to concrete and complex.

Patrick Murray is also grouped by Robert Albritton as being an advocate of
"The New Dialectics."  To understand why see Murray's "Things Fall Apart:
Historical Dialectics and the Critique of Political Economy" in Albritton R.
and Simoulidis, J. (eds.) (2003) _New Dialectics and Political Economy_.

You write above that "new dialectics correctly stresses the need to
develop, to dialectically derive, concepts ...."   I think this formulation
is misleading since it  suggests that they as a group believe that the
"method of inquiry" should be dialectical.  This is a position that Murray
explicitly rejects (Ibid, pp. 160-1).  Chris, I think, shares Murray's view
that  "the method of  inquiry must take its lead from the object being
investigated."   This represents a point of contrast to "materialist
dialectics",  doesn't it?

> I would see the tradition in part developed and inspired by Ben Fine as
> compatible  with materialist dialectics. [...] Alfredo's work is another
> good  example. Alfredo first introduced me to both new dialectics and
> materialist dialectics (though we seem to disagree about many things
> philosophical).

Well ... if you seem to disagree about many things philosophical with
Alfredo, shouldn't you also disagree with many philosophical positions
advanced by Fine?   After all, their positions can't be so far apart since
they are co-authors (of the fourth edition of _Marx's Capital_)  and Fine
wrote that the 2 of them developed "a mutual and common understanding
of Marx's political economy."   Doesn't this imply -- indeed require -- a
mutual and common understanding of Marx's method and philosophy?

In solidarity, Jerry

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