From: Andrew Brown (A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK)
Date: Sat Apr 16 2005 - 08:50:15 EDT
Hi Jerry, I agree with more or less all of your post below. Marx's discussion of value in the early chs of 'Capital' is a discussion of 'fully developed value' -- a historical not a trans-historical category. I by no means argue that value can be grasped through just trans-historcal cateogries. Rather, I point out that historical categories have transhistorical aspects (e.g. transhistorical concepts like 'mode of production') and that these aspects can be -- and must be -- clarified and developed, just like all other categories, whatever their level. Many thanks, Andy Hi Andy, Welcome back from your (mini-) holiday. Marx's (Ch. 1) argument on value indeed precedes discussion of the capital relation. That, though, concerns the *order of presentation*. It should not be seen as an argument for a trans-historical conception of value, anymore than it should be seen as an argument for "simple commodity production." In solidarity, Jerry PS1: re SCP -- which we have discussed on the list previously -- see the 2005 article written by Chris for 'marx myths and legends': < http://www.marxmyths.org/chris-arthur/article2.htm >. PS2: [*long*] In a post dated 4/7, Andy wrote: > This whole notion of my 'dogma', my 'deeming' this that and the > other, seems to me to be a figment of your imagination since I am > offereing arguments, not assertions, and am open to be persuaded I'm > wrong (as are you). You have introduced 'superiority' and > 'intelligence' and a host of concepts that I haven't, whilst not yet > disagreeing with the key argument I have in fact made. When I read the above narrative of our conversation, I was puzzled: I didn't remember events in quite the same way. So, I went back over the posts to reconstruct who said what when. I am replying in the form of a footnote because I don't want to bore everyone else and elevate this misunderstanding into something more than what it was. 1. Intelligence was brought into the conversation by Ian. Clearly he must have thought that the "future robotic taxi firms, in which the drivers are software machines ...." were intelligent (as in artificial intelligence). Clearly Ian believed that the "future genetically and cybernetically enhanced primates" were intelligent -- how else could they "have the language abilities of, say, a six year old"? 2. The way in which I "introduced" intelligence in my conversation with Andy, was only by referring to Ian's robots as "intelligent robots." It was indeed Andy that raised the subject for discussion when he wrote about what "many of the more intelligent animals" can do. 3. He followed that up in his next reply (on a very busy day on the list last week) by asserting that "animals are not as intelligent as humans." When Andy made that claim he, in effect, introduced "superiority". I only used the word dogma in relation to this claim: "It is not the scientific community which posits with an air of certainty the dogma that humans are the most intelligent (and therefore allegedly 'superior' species) -- it is (most) religious communities." What I claimed that Andy "deemed" was in response to his claim that humans need to show "mastery over their natural environment." 4. I suppose when Andy claimed that animals are "strictly limited" in terms of being "productively creative", he took us unintentionally on the path that led to discussions of creativity, intelligence, and notions of superiority. Such is the nature of Internet discussions! They often leads in directions other than those intended by the person initiating a particular thread. Periodic misunderstandings, I'm afraid, come with the territory.
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