Re: [OPE-L] interpretations of capital and Marx

Date: Thu Mar 15 2007 - 11:37:45 EDT

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 16:20:09 +0100
From: Riccardo Bellofiore <>
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] interpretations of capital and Marx

At 10:59 -0400 15-03-2007, Pen-L Fred Moseley wrote:

>>This does not mean that Marx or Sraffa is necessarily “right”, but that
>>when there is uncertainty in their writings, which can be interpreted
>>in different ways, that priority be given to those interpretations that
>>make the theory internally logically consistent.  To me this seems to
>>be the most reasonable and the most "fair to the author" way to go.

This is exactly Kliman's position, referring to
Stigler's Principle of Textual Exegesis. Stigler
used it to counter criticism that his
interpretation was against textual evidence,
according to other critics.

There are many problems with this view.

Just one. There is no outside "neutral"
standpoint of evaluation to say which is better.
Any interpretation is a logical whole, and it
cannot overimpose itself to the author's true
text rereading the quotes, or entire volumes
(like Vol. I).

I think the author is just there, in written
form. With published and unpublished writings:
with preference of course to the published! And
in the original language.

So: the interpretation game, if one loves that,
must be done referring to the German (as you
know, and as Roberto may argue better than me,
the English translation is very often a pure
invention). And when there is unfinished
business, that is that. Interpretation must be
done strictly on the text. If the texts have
different, seemingly contradictory definitions,
let be that way, and stop.

No priority can be granted on this procedure.

This does not deny your way of "reading" Marx.
But it is RECONSTRUCTION, not "interpretation".
That it does not diminishing anybody. But avoid
the pretentious attitude of somebody talking as
Marx. I love ghosts' story, but that's fiction.



ps: the same principles, more or less, lead to
argue that there cannot be any appprehension of
empirical reality independent from theory. The
justification is always internal and contextual,
as lon g as we stay within methodological
dimension. The truth, well, it's another issue
altogether. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach.

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