FOM: wider cultural significance: polylogism

Stephen G Simpson simpson at
Mon Mar 22 15:58:14 EST 1999

Michael Zeleny 21 Mar 1999 06:24:47 speaks of

 > the apodictic modality of Marx's claims to the effect that that all
 > *political* thought (a qualification implicit in the context) is
 > determined by the factors of social class, historical dialectic,
 > and the means of production,

Marx in `The Poverty of Philosophy' applies this class-polylogism to
all scientific thought, not only political and economic thought.
(However, I tend to follow von Mises in believing that Marx propounded
this theory mainly in order to escape the need to refute the arguments
of the classical economists.  Those arguments showed why various
socialist schemes are unworkable.)

 > which suggests that the theses in question manage to escape the
 > pitfalls of false consciousness,

How does it suggest that?

 > as they are spelled out in _The German Ideology_.

Since you say this is spelled out in `The German Ideology', could you
please supply a page reference, or even better, a chapter and section
reference?  The library copy of `The German Ideology' that I have is
711 pages (Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1976).  `Pitfalls' and `false
consciousness' are not in the index.

 > Moreover, Marx clearly acknowledges in that work and elsewhere,
 > that several of his bourgeois predecessors ...  have established
 > certain ... truths impartially and objectively ...

Where does Marx acknowledge that?

 > For Marx, the one true logic is his derivation from Hegelian
 > dialectics

Where does Marx use a phrase such as `one true logic'?

 > whose progression of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis takes place
 > diachronically, and hence without violating the synchronic logical
 > principle of noncontradiction.  Accordingly, this circumstance
 > allows later-day Marxist thinkers such as Henri Lefebvre to
 > reconcile dialectics with formal logic by restricting the purview
 > of the latter to the individual time-slices within the historical
 > progression of the physical world.

Let me try to understand.  You seem to be saying that, according to
Marx, the Hegelian dialectic transcends formal logic, because the
latter applies only within particular time-slices or historical
circumstances.  OK then, aren't you agreeing with my point, that Marx
denied the eternal or objective nature of formal logic?

Where does f.o.m. (= foundations of mathematics) fit in here?
According to Marx, is f.o.m. restricted to a particular time-slice or
historical circumstance?  Is f.o.m., like economics, `an outgrowth of
the conditions of bourgeois production and bourgeois property'?

-- Steve

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