Re: [OPE-L] Fw: [OPE-L] Marx's Form of Analysis

From: Andrew Brown (A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK)
Date: Fri Feb 18 2005 - 04:36:47 EST

But the question I was asking was about the specific applications of scientific realism to the interpretation of Marx's specific theory of value. Let's take Bhaskar. In 'The Possiblity of Naturalism' he takes Marx's 'deduction' of underlying social strutcures from observable 'forms' such as money as exemplifying the correct method in social science. But that really is as far as it goes. He does *not* apply his discussions of real definitions etc. to Marx's specific argument that value must underlie exchange value. Indeed, in D. Sayer, A. Sayer, Keat and Urry, Bhaskar, Jessop, it seems to me that Marx's move from exchange value to value in the openning arguments of Capital is simply not explored adequately. None of these authors defend or employ the labour theory of value in their own work (e.g. Jessop calls the LTV 'discredited' but accpets Elson's 'value theory of labour').
Linking in to your informative reply to Jerry, we can then say that the remarkable turn towards scientific realism within Western philosophy and philosohy of science in the second half of the twentieth century creates an extraodinary opportuinty for us to grasp a crucial feature of Marx's arguement, viz. his move from exchange value to value, from evidence of a power to the substantial grounding or nature that accounts for this power. Unfortunately, as it happened, the attempt to apply realism to Marx, in the 1970s and 80s, missed the opportunuty to explain Marx's openning arguments. Hence it is only now, with work such as your own, and that of Hans E., that Marx' specifc openning arguments in Capital [and not merely his general approach] are being revealed as remarkably in tune with scientific realism. Note how the Hegelian strand of interpretation of Marx has not grasped these aspects of Marx's argument, hence, for example, still leaves one scratching one's head when reading the openning pages of Capital -- as a general rule the Hegelian interpretations simply argue that Marx was wrong to introduce labour so early into the presentation.
Many thanks,
-----Original Message----- 
From: OPE-L on behalf of Howard Engelskirchen 
Sent: Sat 19/02/2005 04:23 
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Fw: [OPE-L] Marx's Form of Analysis

	Hi Andrew,
	Thanks.  I think there were suggestions implicit in that work -- Bhaskar
	certainly highlighted real definitions as the goal of science and suggested
	in The Possiblity of Naturalism that they generally would have to precede
	causal hypotheses in social science (a suggestion I'm not sure I've ever
	understood actually -- it's in section 5 of ch. 2).  But I'm not aware of
	much development of this thread.  Ruth Groff has treated it briefly in her
	book on Bhaskar.
	----- Original Message -----
	From: "Andrew Brown" <A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK>
	Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 4:55 AM
	Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Fw: [OPE-L] Marx's Form of Analysis
	> Howard,
	> You make a very important point, very well. Do you think that your
	specific application of scientific realism (and Aristotle) to Marx's
	argument on value was already present in early works such as Keat and Urry,
	Derek Sayer, or even Bhaskar's early stuff? (I don't think so myself, hence
	the high importance of your argument, imo).
	> Many thanks,
	> Andy

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