Re: [OPE] Diversity and Unity

From: Paul Zarembka (
Date: Tue Apr 08 2008 - 14:25:35 EDT


Actually I wasn't asking about Leibniz, Smith, Hegel, Marx and Luxemburg. 
Rather, I was asking a simpler question.  When you refer to "any approach 
that does not see unity in diversity tends to be dogmatic" I wanted to know 
what does "unity in diversity" MEAN.  I see a tree out of my window (not 
being visually impaired), while eating a banana from Central America (not 
an orange from Israel), working on a Dell computer (not on parchment). 
What does 'unity' in this diversity mean?  What is being conveyed that is 
meaningful, that helps me understand?  Why should I care at all about a 
'unity' in the diversity of seeing a tree, eating a banana, while working 
on the computer?

It seems to me that if you reply that you are not talking about such types 
of diversity and therefore a 'unity' around this example is meaningless, 
then I anticipate we would get into a real logical problem.


--On 4/8/2008 3:47 AM -0400 wrote:

> Paul,
> By this I refer back to a long-standing debate on identity and diversity
> since Leibniz's critique of the concept of identity in Locke.
> Put into one sentence I mean by this the relational approach as evolved
> since then and used in the works of Adam Smith, G. W. F. Hegel, Marx and
> in the works of Rosa Luxemburg. Relational approach differs fundamentally
> from methodological individualism. And I take methodological pluralism
> just as another form of methodological individualism. Leibniz's argument
> against Locke is that we cannot take the concept of identity as an
> absolute concept. Otherwise we cannot explain the motion, development and
> change. To account for the diversity (since this is what the concept of
> identity suggests: difference is absolute) we have to refer to the
> concept of unity . The concept of identity takes parts of a whole as
> isolated and absolute - in relation to the parts as well as in relation
> to the whole. This static mode of thinking I call dogmatism and
> methodological pluralism as I understand it refers to this mode of
> thinking.  The concept of dialectical unity of diversity takes  the
> concept of identity as relative and understands the whole as something
> that underlies as a whole to all parts. It can therefore refer beside to
> particular (difference) to the concept of the universal (identity) as the
> genesis of the difference. This concept is explored in Hegel's Science of
> Logic in various forms. So for example when he explores the relationship
> between the universal and the particular or when he explores the
> relationship between the whole and parts. However, there is another
> reason why I call methodological pluralism dogmatic. It rejects in
> various forms to account for truth. If you want to see what I mean by
> that please refer to Rosa Luxemburg's discussion in the first, say, 10 -
> 15 pages in her Introduction into Political Economy. There Luxemburg is
> criticising methodological individualism as well as methodological
> pluralism. I mean exactly those passages where she explores different
> units and spheres of production as parts of the whole (totality).
> Thank you for your question
> Dogan
> -----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung-----
> Von: Paul Zarembka <>
> An: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
> Verschickt: Mo., 7. Apr. 2008, 20:43
> Thema: Re: [OPE] Duccio Cavalieri
> Dogan,
> What do you mean by the below?
> Paul
> --On 4/6/2008 3:34 PM -0400 wrote:
>> ... I rather think with Hegel that any approach
>> that does not see unity in diversity tends to be dogmatic.
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