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Objective And Mental Labour-Processes

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Chapter Summary

Usually, commentators focus on the Mathematical Manuscripts in order to inquire into Marx's own method of differential calculus from the perspective of the history of mathematics. The thesis of this appendix is that Marx, in studying differential calculus, was seeking both support and material for the further development of his method of social analysis. In light of the fact that 'the principal laws governing crises' are, as all social laws, tendential and contradictory, 'to determine mathematically' the laws is an impossible task. The application of planning techniques was meant to mirror the market as an allocation-system but, at the same time, would have weakened the position of the bureaucrats and strengthened that of the technocrats. The analogy with equilibrium and disequilibrium (temporary deviations from equilibrium) in the social sciences and with marginalism in economics is clear.

Keywords: differential calculus; marginalism; Marx's mathematical manuscripts; social laws



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