Re: [OPE] Reply to critics

From: Paul <>
Date: Fri Oct 01 2010 - 05:06:10 EDT


Some properties are not reducible to physical properties. For example,
whether a person is married or divorced is not a physical property of that
person. It is a `purely social' property in the sense that it is manifested
in a social practice. Marx asks us to consider that labor-value is a social
property in the sense that it manifests in the social practice of
generalized commodity exchange.




I would be careful with the analogies. Let us consider four relations:
mother daughter, money commodity, husband wife, creditor debtor.
I assume you would agree that the mother daughter relation, which has social
components for humans, is not purely social, but is more basically
biological. My cat had kittens who were her daughters for example.
At the other extreeme the relation between creditor and debtor is purely
The husband wife relation whilst it has more social overlay than mother
daughter, can also be seen as a particular social label for biological
reproductive relations. There is a natural biological relationship that acts
as the support but it assumes a particular legal form. Swans form lifelong
monogamous relationships that in humanswould gladden the HOLY FATHER s
The relationship of money to commodity is, as you say a bit like marriage.
But in both senses. It has social conditions of existence, but it also has a
natural biological substratum in the exertion of human energy through labour
, it too is a social representation of a human natural activity: work.
The relationship of the Pope to his 'flock' on the other hand is purely




Hope this begins to answer your question.



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Received on Fri Oct 1 05:07:35 2010

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