Re: [OPE] Diversity and Unity

Date: Thu Apr 10 2008 - 03:29:40 EDT


Sorry. I did not want to frustrate you, if that was the case. Your question was referring to my sentence below and put down what I had in mind when I put down the sentence. It was rather theoretical I admit. But issue is the same with your "simpler question".  Your question is not as simple as you mean. In your examples of seeing, eating and working you are establishing each time a highly complex issue of subject-object relations. To keep it "simpler" lets take your example of seeing a tree. (The example with tree occurs in the first chapter of Hegel's Phenomenology of Sprit by the way.) You say "I see a tree out of my window (not being visually impaired)...". (Window example is used by Adam Smith in his The Theory of Moral Sentiments to refer to relativity of seeing things - each time if you change your position you would see the tree out of your window from a different angel.) You say "I see a tree out of my window (not being visually impaired)...". This is a very good example to explain what I mean. Thank you very much for giving this example. The unity in diversity lies in this example in "a tree". When you say "a" you refer to a particular tree, implying that there are many other particular trees. But when you say 'TREE' you refer to the NATURE of that one tree and herewith you link it to many other trees and you establish thereby a class of objects by referring to their nature. In short, in your example "a" refers to diversity and "tree" to unity: "a tree" refers to diversity and unity at the same time. Similar with your "a banana" and "a Dell computer". "a Dell" implies that there are many other Dell computers . But "Dell" implies that these computers can be reduced to some certain unifying features that are different from all sorts of other classes of computers. So if you say "computer" you imply that there are many other classes of computer: hp, Siemens and so on. So these examples show that we refer always to particular and universal, diversity and unity at the same time. That was one of the debates between Hume and Smith. Hume said when we say horse we refer to just one particular horse. Smith showed that we refer at the same to the unity of that particular horse with its species. In conclusion unity and diversity is founded in all things we refer. Our methodological approach has to account for this ontological condition of the world.

Lets make it a bit complexer: if you say seeing, eating, working you establish a relationship (unity) between you and tree, banana and computer. But you establish also a relationship with many other things on object side: "a tree" not a car for example, a banana not a orange, on a Dell computer not on any other computer or on any other THING. But with your examples you establish also a relationship on the side of subject between various forms of actions. If say I see a tree you say at the same time that you do not hear but see, you do not smell but hear. When you say I work you say I do not swim but work and so on. You see we can go on and on......... So I hope that makes sense.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity by your further investigation to explain.....





-----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung----- 
Von: Paul Zarembka <>
An: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
Verschickt: Di., 8. Apr. 2008, 20:25
Thema: Re: [OPE] Diversity and Unity


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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