[OPE-L:1721] Re: Re: value-form theories and the Uno-school?

Subject: [OPE-L:1721] Re: Re: value-form theories and the Uno-school?
From: Andrew Brown (A.N.Brown@uel.ac.uk)
Date: Tue Nov 23 1999 - 07:12:36 EST

Date sent: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 00:39:19 +0800

> Chris and Andrew, a brief question regarding 'transcendental argument' and
> 'critical realism':-
> Chris wrote:
> >The difference is that a Kantian TA
> >infers retroductively what *must* be the case from what indubutably *is*
> >the case; whereas my argument goes from what *might* be the case to what
> >conditions *would* ground it.
> Andrew wrote:
> >Chris A's recent post distancing of his view from that of a
> transcendental argument is important in the light of 'critical realist'
> interpretations of Marx as employing transcendental arguments.>(snip)
> Chris, how do you see VF dialectic in relation to Bhaskar's 'dialectic' and
> 'critical realism'?

Nicky, this is one key aspect of my (unfinished) PhD. It raises many
issues. I have one paper on CR, DCR and 'new dialectics', another
comparing Ilyenkov to CR and DCR. However, I look from a
methodological and philosophical perspective rather than directly
comparing the different theories of value, so they are not precisely
germane to your question.

If you check over the archives of the Bhaskar discussion list (availale
via the spoons collective or CR web site) you will find a number of
discussions on this. Two points for now: 1) There is, in fact, very little
CR or DCR work detailing an interpretation of Marx's value theory.
Recent exceptions are Hans Ehrbar's work and that of Steve
Fleetwood. (though Steve is CR rather than DCR). And there is RB's
stuff of course. 2) Of vital importance, imo, is Patrick Murray's review
of Derek Sayer's 1979 book on Marx's Method. This review actually
lays the basis for his 1993 article that we have been discussing. Sayer
argues that Marx's method is realist and transcendental and Kantian in
form. Murray politely destroys Sayers argument on this topic [not on
other topics: Sayer's book is, in general, excellent]. His review is
entitled 'Marx minus Hegel', as you might expect. Sayer later accepts
Murray's critique in full.

Chris, as you know, I would be very interested in your answer to
Nicky's question, especially in the light of Murray's critique of Sayer.
(Sayer's book remains the most comprehensive realist attempt to look
at Marx's value theory that I know of, with the possible exception of
Fleetwood - who I think has a book on this out now or soon)

Nicky, I am delighted that you mention Vygotsky (especially, since,
when reading back over the latter part of my previous email, I was
concerned that it made no sense at all!) The answer to your question
is that I use Ilyenkov's work to articulate mind, language, matter etc. I
think that David Bakhurst's 1991 book charts the history of twentieth
century Russian philsophy, embracing that of Vygotsky's work and
culminating in that of Ilyenkov (but, like a fool, I am yet to read
Bakhurst). So there are clear links between Vygotsky and Ilyenkov.

Regarding the 'dualistic' separation of mind and matter: It can be
argued that Marx's German Ideology and other work avoids
altogether the opposition between idealism and materialism. However,
Marx's texts also support the opposing interpretation that Marx
champions (the new) materialism over idealism and over old
materialism. I take the latter argument. Engels certainly does also. As
does Lenin. This is because I would argue that the key problem of
philosphy is indeed that, on the face of it, an idea is like nothing other
than another idea and so is nothing like its object. This is not an
artificial dualism, but an apparent fact of life.

Nicky I would be very interested in reading any work you have done
on all the issues you raised in discussion.

Many thanks,

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