RE: [OPE] Dialectics for the New Century

Date: Sun Apr 13 2008 - 09:20:19 EDT

>>> Thus Marx criticizes Hegel's dialectics as speculative, and it is speculative because it has no empirical content beyond the content of the mind, and thus depends essentially on word meanings (linguistic apposition). But dialectical reasoning is not imprecise if e.g. we study a particular observable phenomenon which contains elements which reciprocally determine each other, even although this appears to be a contradiction of terms. Because in that case, we can specify, verify and formalize very exactly how this reciprocation works.<<<
Hi Jurriaan:
Well, there was a lot of empirical content to much of Hegel's philosophy. 
E.g. for the period of time in which he was writing, he had a pretty extensive
grasp (at least, for a philosopher) of nature and science. See his 
_Philosophy of Nature_  (published in 3 volumes in English, George
Allen and Unwin Ltd./ Humanities Press, 1970).   The reason for
Marx's comment was not because Hegel's work lacked empirical content
but because the content was tied together dialectically and wedded with Hegel's
religious/spiritual perspective.
> idea of some Marxist scholars that the "dialectic of capital" must exactly map on to Hegel's Science of Logic is rather absurd - there is no 
> compelling reason why the explication of the motions of capital should exactly correspond to the logical categories of a metaphysical book 
> completed in 1831, when Marx was 13 years old. That is just the interpretation - arguably an interpretation of a rather imitative rather than very
>  original mind, insofar as it is focused on rationalizing a situation, rather than discovering its dialectics. 
There have been some who (while they never claimed that there must
 be an "exact" mapping) have pointed to the relevance of the analytical 
structure of the _Science of Logic_ to Marx's project.  Others, such as 
Raya Dunayeskaya, have focused on the relevance of  _The 
Phenomenology of Spirit_ to Marx's project.   Felton C. Shortall, 
suggested  that the most relevant work of Hegel to Marx's project was 
the section on "Ethical Life" in _The Philosophy of Right_ (_The 
Incomplete Marx_, p. 348).   I think that what's important is to have a 
grasp of the Hegelian system _as a whole_ so I would suggest that an
understanding of the multi-volume _Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical
Sciences_ (1830) is the way to go.  The _Encylopaedia_ also has 
the advantage over the _Science of Logic_ and the _Phenomenology
of Spirit_ that the _Logic_ (Part One) and the _Philosophy of Mind_
(Part Three) are more tightly argued, compact, and clearer, imo.
Also, I think the meaning of _systematic_ dialectics is clearer from the
organizational structure and transitions within the _Encyclopaedia_.
In solidarity, Jerry

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