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Has anyone here read Hegel?

POST REPLY
Soviet cogitations: 231
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 04 Mar 2014, 21:14
gRed:

Quote:
This is breaking down since we are both ending up in speculation. I will just say that I find it this to be unconvincing. If Marx wanted to coquette with Hegel he surely could have done so without making deliberate errors in his work. I really don't see why any academic would voluntarily do this (and mention this to your grad student!). You say this sentence in question could suggest coquetting but you haven't shown how. Plus you acknowledge he made the error so you need to say why he coquetted resulting in this error. As I said, we would need a copy of the 2nd edition of Capital to check to see if it was a mere one-off (thus likely to be an accidental error), or indeed Marx made similar analyses throughout the work. For what it's worth Marx makes no direct references to Hegel at all in the 4th edition. I would need to check the 3rd.


Except my speculation is based on Marx's own declaration concerning his method, and 'the dialectic method'; yours is just baseless speculation.

Quote:
I really don't see why any academic would voluntarily do this (and mention this to your grad student!). You say this sentence in question could suggest coquetting but you haven't shown how. Plus you acknowledge he made the error so you need to say why he coquetted resulting in this error.


No, this isn't what I am suggesting. You need perhaps to re-read what I have said.

Quote:
Well I haven't seen them or their context so I cannot pass judgement (and don't post them, I'm not that interested!). Suffice to say I assume you do not cite him as what you deem to be a correct application of his method in your own analyses.


Indeed.

Quote:
1) It was a genuine oversight - quite possibly a one-off.
2) He genuinely thought it was correct at the time, thus implying he had not fully worked out his method at the time of the 2nd edition.


Sure, this is possible.

But, whatever the reason, it formed no part of his method. How do we know? Well, he explicitly told us what his method was in the Postface to the second edition -- and it contains no Hegel at all (upside down or 'the right way up').
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 04 Mar 2014, 21:39
Quote:
Except my speculation is based on Marx's own declaration concerning his method, and 'the dialectic method'; yours is just baseless speculation.


How so? I am asking why he coquetted to the point where he made an error. I am taking Marx's declaration and trying to match it this quote of his (p313, 2nd ed). You are saying he either coquetted or was an imbecile. You acknowledge he coquetted and you acknowledge he made an error on p313. You should be asking the same question!

Quote:
No, this isn't what I am suggesting. You need perhaps to re-read what I have said.


No, you said:
Rosa wrote:
What can I tell you? This plainly isn't an application of this 'law'; so, and once again: either Marx was an imbecile, or he was 'coquetting' (as he himself, not me, tells us he was). Take your pick.


Rosa wrote:
"Coquetting" suggest to me he might have been doing this, but again, unless we can bring Marx back from the dead, there is no way to resolve this one.

As far as this being a mistake is concerned, I have already covered this: I said "these days we'd use 'scare' quotes", or drop the use of such language altogether.

Right throughout my work I use Hegelian language and call what Hegel had to say a "law" (or something equivalent), but I invariably intend to put it in 'scare' quotes, since I am being sarcastic. Sixteen years after they were first written, I still come across examples where I have left them out by accident, and this is after well over fifty revisions[/i] -- no exaggeration!)) you might be confused about my real attitude toward Hegel, too. This device wasn't in use in Marx's day. I suspect he might have used them here had they been. But, once again, that is speculation on my part, but it is reasonable speculation based on what we now know about Marx's attitude toward Hegel.


Rosa wrote:
2) But, you tell me: why did Marx make this simple error? It is most certainly not an application of Hegel's 'law', so why say it was? -- Unless he was being sarcastic/'coquetting'. Or, of course, he was an imbecile.


If you don't think he was coquetting, why did he make the error? If you do think he was coquetting, why did he make the error?

Quote:
But, whatever the reason, it formed no part of his method. How do we know? Well, he explicitly told us what his method was in the Postface to the second edition -- and it contains no Hegel at all (upside down or 'the right way up').


So why did he apply Hegel and thus make an error in the 2nd edition? You acknowledge it is an error and you acknowledge this is because he has applied Hegel.
Soviet cogitations: 231
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 04 Mar 2014, 22:17
gRed:

Quote:
How so? I am asking why he coquetted to the point where he made an error. I am taking Marx's declaration and trying to match it this quote of his (p313, 2nd ed). You are saying he either coquetted or was an imbecile. You acknowledge he coquetted and you acknowledge he made an error on p313. You should be asking the same question!


I covered this in my last but one reply. Can I suggest you re-read it, again?

Quote:
How so? I am asking why he coquetted to the point where he made an error. I am taking Marx's declaration and trying to match it this quote of his (p313, 2nd ed).


You have no basis for supposing this forms part of Marx's method, as you indicated in an earlier post (or, rather as you seem to have supposed, or inferred), and that is because Marx only ever posted one summary of 'the dialectic method' in his entire life, and it contains no Hegel at all (upside down or the 'right way up').

As I said earlier, you will need to find a passage written and published by Marx, contemporaneous with or subsequent to the Postface to the second edition, if you want to turn that earlier speculation into something more solid. I, at least, have that summary on my side.

Quote:
If you don't think he was coquetting, why did he make the error? If you do think he was coquetting, why did he make the error?


Again, I have covered this several times. if you don't like/accept what I have to say, fine. We'll just have to disagree.

But, one thing is for sure: this passage in no way tells us what Marx's method is. So my substantive points still stand. As I pointed out earlier:

Quote:
How do we know? Well, he explicitly told us what his method was in the Postface to the second edition -- and it contains no Hegel at all (upside down or 'the right way up').


You:

Quote:
So why did he apply Hegel and thus make an error in the 2nd edition? You acknowledge it is an error and you acknowledge this is because he has applied Hegel.


It can't be an 'error' if he was being deliberately sarcastic, or should have, in my opinion, used 'scare' quotes (had he written it today).

How many times do I have to point this out?

Your only option here is to regard Marx as an imbecile.

My view absolves him of this.

Once more, take your pick.
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 04 Mar 2014, 23:19
Quote:
You have no basis for supposing this forms part of Marx's method, as you indicated in an earlier post (or, rather as you seem to have supposed, or inferred), and that is because Marx only ever posted one summary of 'the dialectic method' in his entire life, and it contains no Hegel at all (upside down or the 'right way up').


So the 2nd edition contains the summary of his dialectical method (Hegel-free) but also includes a passage whereby Marx makes an error because he applies an Hegelian 'law.' You point out that the summary trumps the Hegelian "error" because Marx was simply 'coquetting' with Hegel in the passage and thus it is sarcastic (meaning the "error" isn't an error at all). The trouble is, it isn't sarcastic, which therefore means Marx's claim to coquetting can no longer be taken as fact. We therefore have to ask: how does the summary trump the Hegelian error if the Hegelian error was made in all seriousness?

Say I wrote a book and in the introduction explained my method of inquiry and that it was utterly devoid of Plato. Yet in the main content of the book, say I applied Platonic laws to my analyses. Would you consider my work to be Platonic in nature?

Quote:
But, one thing is for sure: this passage in no way tells us what Marx's method is. So my substantive points still stand. As I pointed out earlier:


It doesn't say what his method is but it shows him applying an incorrect method (and in all seriousness!).

Quote:
It can't be an 'error' if he was being deliberately sarcastic, or should have, in my opinion, used 'scare' quotes (had he written it today).


The reference to scare quotes is largely irrelevant if they weren't used at the time. Might as well say that Marx should have phoned Engels on his iPhone. The fact of the matter is he was perfectly capable of expressing sarcasm throughout his work as we are both well aware. This passage contains no sarcasm.

Quote:
It can't be an 'error' if he was being deliberately sarcastic, or should have, in my opinion, used 'scare' quotes (had he written it today).

How many times do I have to point this out?

Your only option here is to regard Marx as an imbecile.

My view absolves him of this.

Once more, take your pick.


Trouble is, I don't think you do think he is being sarcastic. I think you only publicly cling to the sarcastic reference because it is technically watertight (assuming Marx's sarcasm was so eccentric only he recognised it as sarcasm - if so, what would be the point?) and your only other option would be 'imbecile' (although I have pointed out a handy alternative - that it could have been a one-off error!). I challenge anyone to point out how the Hegelian reference is sarcastic (thus absolving the passage of all error). Here is the full quote one more time:

Marx wrote:
"A certain stage of capitalist production necessitates that the capitalist be able to devote the whole of the time during which he functions as a capitalist, i.e., as personified capital, to the appropriation and therefore control of the labour of others, and to the selling of the products of this labour. The guilds of the middle ages therefore tried to prevent by force the transformation of the master of a trade into a capitalist, by limiting the number of labourers that could be employed by one master within a very small maximum. The possessor of money or commodities actually turns into a capitalist in such cases only where the minimum sum advanced for production greatly exceeds the maximum of the middle ages. Here, as in natural science, is shown the correctness of the law discovered by Hegel (in his 'Logic'), that merely quantitative differences beyond a certain point pass into qualitative changes."


Either way I'm rather bored of this now. I don't think there is much more either of us can say unless one of us finds a copy of the 2nd edition.
Soviet cogitations: 231
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 06 Mar 2014, 13:41
gRed:

Quote:
So the 2nd edition contains the summary of his dialectical method (Hegel-free) but also includes a passage whereby Marx makes an error because he applies an Hegelian 'law.' You point out that the summary trumps the Hegelian "error" because Marx was simply 'coquetting' with Hegel in the passage and thus it is sarcastic (meaning the "error" isn't an error at all). The trouble is, it isn't sarcastic, which therefore means Marx's claim to coquetting can no longer be taken as fact. We therefore have to ask: how does the summary trump the Hegelian error if the Hegelian error was made in all seriousness?


You say it's an error, but if Marx was 'coquetting', it wasn't an error; any more than this is: "Hegel was a 'Martian'." [On 'scare' quotes, see below.]

Moreover, I don't subscribe to the view he was being sarcastic, I merely said that this is one possibility.

Quote:
Say I wrote a book and in the introduction explained my method of inquiry and that it was utterly devoid of Plato. Yet in the main content of the book, say I applied Platonic laws to my analyses. Would you consider my work to be Platonic in nature?


Depends, on whether or not you had said you would 'coquette' with Platonic jargon in your book -- and you had Marx's personality.

Quote:
It doesn't say what his method is but it shows him applying an incorrect method (and in all seriousness!).


On what basis do you call this a 'method'? Marx certainly didn't call it a 'method', or even part of one. In stark contrast, he did call 'the dialectic method' summarised by that reviewer 'my method', and it contains no Hegel at all.

**Once again, in order to sustain this argument of yours (even if you are only entertaining it for the purposes of this thread), you need to find a summary of 'the dialectic method' written and published by Marx, contemporaneous with or subsequent to the Postface to the second edition, which he also calls "my method", and in which there are Hegelian concepts to be found.

Short of that there is no justification for you calling this passage from the body of Das Kapital Marx's 'method' (or part of it), applied or misapplied.

Quote:
The reference to scare quotes is largely irrelevant if they weren't used at the time. Might as well say that Marx should have phoned Engels on his iPhone. The fact of the matter is he was perfectly capable of expressing sarcasm throughout his work as we are both well aware. This passage contains no sarcasm.


In fact, I made this point myself. My reference to 'scare' quotes was my way of explaining what Marx was doing, and it is based on the fact that 'his method' is a Hegel-free zone, and he told us he was 'coquetting' with Hegelian jargon.

You are quite at liberty to reject that explanation, but until you come up with a better one (and one based on what Marx said about 'his method' -- see this point above**), I am sticking to it.

Quote:
Trouble is, I don't think you do think he is being sarcastic.


But, I don't think this; I merely suggested it as one possibility. I prefer the 'scare quote'/'coquetting' option.

Which makes this excursion of yours into amateur psycho-analysis so much wasted effort:

Quote:
I think you only publicly cling to the sarcastic reference because it is technically watertight (assuming Marx's sarcasm was so eccentric only he recognised it as sarcasm - if so, what would be the point?) and your only other option would be 'imbecile' (although I have pointed out a handy alternative - that it could have been a one-off error!). I challenge anyone to point out how the Hegelian reference is sarcastic (thus absolving the passage of all error). Here is the full quote one more time:


Sure, it could be an error, or we could rely on what Marx himself told us, and view it as an example of 'coquetting'.

Quote:
Either way I'm rather bored of this now. I don't think there is much more either of us can say unless one of us finds a copy of the 2nd edition.


I agree, but I thought this several days ago, and wonder why you have tried to milk several more posts out of this long since desiccated point.

It's pretty straight-forward as far as I can see: if we begin, as I do, with the summary of 'the dialect method' which Marx added to the Postface to the second edition, and take it seriously -- and also take note of the 'coquetting' passage -- the section of Das Kapital we have been hammering away at for far too long becomes much easier to interpret.
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
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