Subject: [OPE-L:1678] Re: Re: determination of value transferred
From: Fred B. Moseley (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Nov 15 1999 - 08:13:46 EST
This is a reply to Andrew's and John's recent posts.
Andrew started this latest round of discussion by his recent set of posts
that reexamined the TEXTUAL EVIDENCE regarding Marx's assumption about the
determination of the value transferred from the constant capital to the
price of the output.
I responded with this same focus on the textual evidence. I said that I
was glad that Andrew now agrees with me that the textual evidence clearly
suggests that Marx assumed that the value transferred from the constant"current reproduction costs" interpretation DID lead to serious logical
problems and DID lead to the same prices of production as the Sraffian
IF THE TEXTUAL EVIDENCE STRONGLY SUPPORTS THE "CURRENT REPRODUCTION COSTS"
INTERPRETATION (as I argue that it does; most recently in this year's
IWGVT paper), then THE LOGICAL PROBLEMS WOULD NOT CHANGE OR NEGATE THE
STRONG TEXTUAL EVIDENCE. It would make no sense to conclude that, in this
case, because of the logical problems with the "current reproduction
costs" interpretation of Marx's concept of constant capital, this must not
have been what Marx meant, even though this is what Marx clearly said in
numerous passages throughout his economic manuscripts.
Therefore, the prior question (prior to the question of whether or not the
"current reproduction costs" interpretation leads to serious logical
problems) is whether the textual evidence strongly supports the "current
reproduction costs" interpretation.
Andrew, why don't we propose to the IWGVT steering committee that we
participate in a session together, that would consist of your recent paper
on the textual evidence and my recent paper on the textual evidence (and
perhaps one other related paper)? This would give us the opportunity for
a good, long discussion of the textual evidence on this issue? OK?
There may indeed be serious logical problems with the "current
reproduction costs" interpretation of Marx's concept of constant capital.
This interpretation may indeed lead to the same prices of production as
the Sraffian interpretation. I don't think so, but I also know that I
have not provided completely satisfactory answers to Andrew's and John's
criticisms. I intend to work on these criticisms in the near future
(including providing a numerical to demonstrate th difference between my
interpretation and the Sraffian interpretation, as Andrew asks). Indeed
I originally intended to respond to these criticisms in this year's IWGVT
paper, but then Andrew's review of the textual evidence appeared, so I
thought it would be better to first deal with the prior question of the
textual evidence. Realistically, it will probably be the January break
before I have much time to work on this. (I am swamped right now editing
the English translation of Dussel's book on the 1861-63 Manuscripts, which
was due November 1.) I am going to try to rethink these issues more
thoroughly and that will take some time. It is not just a matter of
coming up with a numerical example. But I promise (to the best of my
ability) to have a more thorough response to these criticisms - and a
numerical example - by the IWGVT mini-conference in March. OK ?
However, I repeat that the prior question is the textual evidence. If the
textual evidence strongly supports the "current reproduction costs"
interpretation of Marx's concept of constant capital, then I think it has
to be concluded that this is what Marx meant by the determination of
constant capital, even if this method of determination leads to serious
logical problems and even if it leads to Sraffian results.
I look forward to further discussion, including with other participants.
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