Re: [OPE] epistemological and scientific questions

From: <>
Date: Sun Dec 14 2008 - 08:34:11 EST

do you mean that it is used in English speaking world in an negative sense?
If "simplified assumption means "abstracting from" then it seems to be a correct use of the concept - with the prerequisite that it is going to unfold in the course of the presentation to reproduce or reconstruct the whole complexity. This is what Marx does in Capital.

Cheers, Dogan



-----Original Message-----
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
Sent: Sun, 14 Dec 2008 14:11
Subject: RE: [OPE] epistemological and scientific questions

Hi Dogan:


OK, now I understand better what you meant by this expression.

I don't recall hearing it referred to with the expression "mirror theory"

so that confused me.


The concept of ?"mirror reflection" is, as you say, used by various

authors.? It sometimes arises in the following context: an author might

both say that some idea is both a simplifying assumption in the context

of an abstract theory and yet at the same time claim that it is

mirrored by an actual historical process.?This, as you are no doubt aware,

is used by some with reference to the category of abstract labor.


In solidarity, Jerry





Jerry, sorry, I should have said something about the translation issues as well. There may be indeed some translation issues involved. The word I am trying put in English is "Widerspiegelung". I do not know how to translate this. Therefore, I am using "mirror theory" in a loose sense to refer to the concept of "Wiederspiegelung". Perhaps that what Howard used may be a better expression: "mirror reflection".
I use "mirror" in a metaphorical sense.
It addresses the main question of all scieces and philosophy how we may account for the relationship between our reality and theory.
It is an antient concept and have been used as a conept throughout history. Its explicit use as a term may be traced back to Leibniz. But more fully developed by Smith, Marx and Engesl. Lenin suggested it to be a universal concept that may be applied to natural and social sciences - in different ways of course. Pawlow developed further. Contemporarily it is used and developed further by Marxist philosopher Hans heinz Holz. When Marx for example says (to rephrase) mater is translated into thought or consciousness he refers to this concept. Or more generally when he takes concepts as concepts of a social formation then he again refers to this concept. In fact when you were reminding us in a reply to Anderes that when we read and analyse Capital that we at the same time talk about capitalism you were refering to mirror theory.



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Received on Sun Dec 14 08:36:07 2008

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