From: Ian Wright (iwright@GMAIL.COM)
Date: Sat Apr 16 2005 - 15:06:25 EDT
Hi Ajit > Now the present > day Marxist value theorists, leaving aside their > differences about how to measure value, claim that > "value" is a definitional category, i.e., it is simply > defined as "abstract socially necessary labor time" > represented by A commodity, where "abstract" and > "socially necessary labor" are measured in one way or > the other. Thus in this case, the question is > meaningless, since value is simply defined as > labor-time and nothing else. In another post, I also objected to the idea that value can simply be defined. But I introduced an argument for why value necessarily represents abstract labour time: it does so because the flow pattern of value controls the manifestation pattern of abstract labour, i.e. there are regular causal relations between a representation (value) and an object (abstract labour). This is a different kind of explanation. We can observe the causal relations between a thermostat and the temperature of a room, and thereby ascribe objective semantics to the representational sub-states of the thermostat (e.g., the position of the bi-metallic strip represents the temperature of the room, and not, say, the number of people in the room). Similarly, we can observe the causal relations between forms of value and labour, and draw analogous conclusions about what value can and cannot represent. Clearly, this type of explanation is grounded in necessary causal relations that occur through time, something that you may object to on philosophical grounds. Best wishes, -Ian.
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