[OPE-L:55] RE: Pros and Cons: Comments and a Blank Form

Michael A. Lebowitz (mlebowit@sfu.ca)
Fri, 15 Sep 1995 23:12:53 -0700

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> First Issue: Where to Begin:
> ----------------------------

Where to begin what? Is the goal to extend Marx's work or to add to it?
If the former, then however we tentatively begin, a critical foundation for
proceeding will be to review CAPITAL, its place within Marx's economics
(this is one aspect of the Plans) and his changing conception of CAPITAL
(this is another aspect). In this case, even if we take some time to set out
the questions which remain to be understood (and Paul's list is a good
start), the important issue will be to develop the answers immanently, ie ,
out of CAPITAL,etc. If the goal is, on the other hand, to add to Marx's
work, the answers are to a significant extent extrinsic, no? In this
respect, I am suggesting that we cannot avoid a methodological discussion
before proceeding very far.
> *************************************************************************
> Second Issue: The listing:
> -----------------------------
> A. Move systematically through each volume of _Capital_, ask whether
> people see any unanswered questions, organize the submitted questions,
> and then decide the order in which we wish to address them.
> Advantages: We will learn a lot from each other and about each other's
perspectives. We will develop a firm foundation upon which to extend beyond
> Disadvantages: It exponentially increases the opportunities for
disagreement and delays discussion of current problems. (However, I'm not
aware that we are working toward a deadline.)
> B. Begin by listing questions (without going systematically through
> _Capital_) and then organize the submitted questions.
> Advantages:
> Disadvantages: I don't see the logic behind this. Under A, we would all
turn our attention to, eg, Vol I, Parts I-III at the same time and would
think about things that may have troubled us whereas under B, it would be
more of a buckshot approach.
> C. Begin the listing by examining Vol. 3 of _Capital_ and asking what are
> the unanswered questions in that volume and before.
> Advantages:
> Disadvantages: What's special about Vol 3?
Michael A. Lebowitz
Economics Department, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office: (604) 291-4669; Office fax: (604) 291-5944
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e-mail: mlebowit@sfu.ca