Marx's Theory of Scientific Knowledge
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This close textual study treats a neglected topic in the voluminous literature on Marx. Both supporters and opponents of Marx have long assumed that he was a positivist; however, the author states, Marx did not adopt this conventional nineteenth-century view of science. Schooled by Hegel, Marx developed an eye for the practical, historical rootedness of the concepts and the values of science. The depth of Marx's inquiries into the nature of scientific knowledge places him in the company of philosopher-scientists such as Aristotle and Descartes, and his theory of scientific knowledge tacitly underlies the construction of his masterwork, Capital, making it unexpectedly dense: much turns on a word, a distinction, a beginning. Often Marx's understanding of his methodological innovations.
Through a close reading of Marx's few writings on method and a careful analysis of the opening chapters of Capital, this book exposes this demanding quality of Marx's texts and helps in meeting those demands.
the liberal party's adherence to fixed abstract ideals and the conservative party' s fixation on the "bad positivity" of Prussian actuality, In Hegel's Philosophy of Right Marx finds more than the accommoda tions of his science to the dictates of Prussian Realpolitik; he finds Hegel's to be a science of accommodation. In his dissertation notes, Marx ob serves that a great philosopher may well make accommodations, perhaps even consciously, and Marx notes that Hegel made such accommoda tions.
Idea was endowed with life and subjectiv ity, a Pinocchio among these thought-things. But Marx realized that this inversion reflected the historical inversion of life under capitalism, where the animated abstraction capital assumed priority over nature and hu manity. Marx thus linked Hegel's philosophy to the deep structures of capitalism, much as he later linked political economic theories to those deep structures. Marx's critique of absolute idealism further involved a return to episte
producer only insofar as they are alienated from the producer. So Stirner and Bruno Bauer served Marx heuristically not only in discerning the faults of absolute idealism but also in linking it with capitalism. To criticize existing science on its own terms and simultaneously link it to the logic of specific patterns oL practical social life is characteristic of Marx's ap proach to scientific knowledge. , , i l ! • , • • ! • • i t C HAPTER 5 Histo rical Materialism: An Alternative to
that material ' wealth still consists ! ) as is labor. '" Labor is the source of all value, the bourgeois measure of wealth, but not the source of all wealth per se. 2 Classical political economy's identification of the theory of value with a theory of wealth broaches the issue of the homology between classical political economy and the idealism of enlightened philosophy. By sys tematically neglecting the natural conditions of all wealth, classical politi cal economy and the Gotha Programme
MEDIATION What is the fault in the essence that alienates the value o f a commodity in the third party, money? The production of commodities is peculiar insofar as its social character is precisely its asociality. Commodity production is carried on by private, independent persons, whose products first achieve a , 160 MARX'S MA TURE SCIENTIFIC PRACTICE , 8 , "specifically social 3 character when they go to market. When commodi ties come to the market, they come as particulars, which are then