Re: Money, mind and the ontological status of value

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Thu Jun 17 2004 - 09:58:29 EDT

Howard Engelskirchen <howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM> said, on 06/17/04:

>An argument is valid when the premises lead necessarily to the conclusion.
>You are right.  Your argument is valid.  There is nothing wrong with your
>logic.  The difference between your argument and mine goes their
>respective theoretical and factual contexts.  If the argument I offer is
>valid it can make a (fallible) claim to truth.  Yours can't.

  Correct regarding "Yours can't", as it was not so offered. However,...

>Here's why:

>My argument rested on two theoretical background propositions and one
>factual observation.  I appealed to Marxist theory for the proposition
>that exchange value is a form of manifestation of value.  I took that as
>established by Marxist theory.  I also took as given the statement by Marx
>that "as a slave a worker has exchange value."

>My argument is only as good as those theoretical propositions of Marx.  Do
>you disagree with either one?


  You are falling back on 'authority'.  You fall back to appeal to "Marxist theory for the proposition that exchange value is a form of manifestation of value".  It is "established".  Please do not restore to such a method on OPE-L.

  I am trying to open the question with you if Marx (either the person or marxism as a whole) did so establish.  Surely, you do not want to close the door with "Marxist theory ... established".

  Try to look at it from my point of view for a moment: what could I possibly do with such an assertion?  Apologize?

>I then added the factual observation that slaves existed in the ancient
>world.  Given the premises, the fact and the fact that the form of
>argument is valid, I can claim that my argument is true.

  Slaves existing in the ancient world is factually correct.  However, it is exchange value (reality) => value, EV (reality) => V, that I'm trying to discuss.

>You can't because there is no theory you can appeal to that establishes
>any connection between EV and Xenobiopsy.

  Correct, and I explicitly so said.

>Marxism, on the other hand, is a
>disciplinary matrix persuasive to many members of the OPEL list.

  Instead of explaining WHY EV => V, you re-assert Marx's authority or marxism and cannot move beyond the assertion.

>In addition, as you yourself have told us, as a factual matter Xenobiopsy
>does not exist.  Therefore, though your argument is valid, it can make no
>truth claim.

  Correct regarding any truth claim, but Xenobiopsy would be a theoretical concept, not a real object (it was never posed as "existing").

>In your post of June 7 you ask how we know that a theoretical concept
>refers to a real object.

  You did not understand my posting.  I wrote, "if you accept the distinction [between the real object and the theoretical object], you need to offer a way to make it 'work' in practice."  Specifically, you have been swimming around the issue of whether value is a real object or a theoretical object.  At one point you said it was a real object, then you backed off a bit.  But no closure came in that discussion.  So, I now ask in your

  if EV, then V
  EV exists
  Therefore V

is V a real object or a theoretical object?  (It is clear that EV is considered real because you wrote EV "exists"; you aren't as clear about V.)

>Yes, theory becomes a practical force when it is gripped by the masses.

  This issue is beyond our existing discussion (I guess my mentioning "Theses on Feuerbach" wasn't understood as intended).

>... Value for example doesn't exist in production, but only
>in exchange where it is realized as such....

  Noted for possible future reference.

  Paul Z.

Vol.21-Neoliberalism in Crisis, Accumulation, and Rosa Luxemburg's Legacy
RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, Zarembka/Soederberg, eds, Elsevier Science

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