Re: Money, mind and the ontological status of value

From: Howard Engelskirchen (howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM)
Date: Thu Jun 17 2004 - 12:27:46 EDT

Hi Paul,

My comments follow yours:


> >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
> >that "as a slave a worker has exchange value."
> >My argument is only as good as those theoretical propositions of Marx.
> >you disagree with either one?
>   Howard,
>   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".

To work within the framework of a coherent theory in science and to
appropriate its method and results to use is not "falling back on
authority."  Marx's argument that exchange value is a form of manifestation
of value is made in Chapter 1.  I make use of it.  What part of that
analysis do you want to open?

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

I don't have any idea what 'apologize' refers to or for what, and I am
definitely puzzled by your point of view.

>   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.)

The argument is meant to establish that value existed as a real object in
the ancient world.

The concepts of 'value' or the 'social relation of value' or the 'social
substance of value' are theoretical objects.  The concept of a 'real object'
is a theoretical object.

The social relation of value is a real object;  the social substance of
value is a real object.

With respect, your impression that I am confused about the distinction
between real and theoretical objects is wrong.

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

Be sure you take the context forward to the future.  I am making the
argument here that someone who held the view that a power exists only when
it is in operation would say value exists only in exchange.  The way I said
it was no doubt confusing.  The sentence just before the one you quote was
"a thing can be said to act only when it is actually acting."  That isn't
clear at all.  Better to say it as I did just above -- someone who held the
view that a power exists only when actually operating (ie I have the power
to speak french only when I am actually speaking it) would say that value
exists only in exchange, not production.  This is not a view I hold.



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