[OPE-L:2112] Re: New quiz!!

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Wed, 8 May 1996 13:46:20 -0700

[ show plain text ]

Re: Andrew's [OPE-L:2096]:

> "... the basis of value is the fact that human beings relate to each
> other's labor as equal, and general, and in this form social, labor.
> This is an abstraction, like all human thought, and social relations
> only exist among human beings to the extent that they think, and possess
> this power of abstraction from sensuous individuality and contingency."
> (1) Who is/are the author(s) of this statement?

My guess is Marx -- "early Marx." I tried looking at the _Paris Manuscripts_
and Marx's critique of Hegel's _Philosophy of Right_, but couldn't find the
above quote.

> (4) Would you characterize the author(s) as (a) subjectivist value
> theorist(s)?


> (5) Would you characterize the author(s) as (an) idealist(s)?
> Materialist(s)? Neither?


> (6) Do you agree with the author(s)?

I would probably formulate the issue differently.

> According to the same author(s), same passage, "what distinguishes
> human social relations from relations between animals"?

[Human beings *are* animals. Andrew!].

Marx, in his earliest writings, follows Feuerbach in using the notion of
species-being ["Gattungswesen"] to differentiate humans from animals
(sic). The idea here is that human consciousness differs from animal
consciousness in that humans have the ability to be aware of her or
himself as sharing a common nature with others. This human consciousness
includes the ability to define and classify and, consequently, be
scientific. (This issue is discussed in greater depth in the "Editor's
Introduction" by Joseph O'Malley to _Karl Marx's Critique of Hegel's
'Philosophy of Right'_, Cambridge University Press, 1970, see especially
pages xl-xliv).

My guess is that Andrew selected the above quote to connect to the
subjectivity thread.

[DIGRESSION: What about dolphins? They, it would seem, not only have
brains comparable to human beings but also ... species-being and
consciousness. I believe, in general, that 19th (and pre-19th) Century
philosophers tended to view humankind as superior qualitatively to other
forms of life and as a sort of fulfillment of some ideal conception of
nature. Even though Marx rejected idealism and religion, he - like Darwin
-was influenced by this conception].

In OPE-L Solidarity,