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Following Hegel: the science of Marx

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Chapter Summary

It is paradox that the earth moves round the sun and that water consists of two highly inflammable gases. Scientific truth is always paradox, if judged by everyday experience, which catches only the delusive appearance of things. A gap between appearance and essence in matters relating to political economy is not at all an accident. Insofar as the necessary conditions for the reproduction of the whole differ from those relevant to the individual actors taken separately, we cannot rely upon the way things must appear to the individual actors. Understanding this link between Marxs conception of the work of science and Hegels idea of the search for an Essence which lies beyond immediate Appearance (which Lenin described in his marginal notes as the theory of knowledge) is absolutely critical. Without grasping the connection, we fail to understand Marxs methodological project.

Keywords: inflammable gases; science of Marx; theory of knowledge



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