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Evald Ilyenkov’s Dialectics of Abstract and Concrete and the Recent Value-Form Debate

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Chapter Summary

The first book Evald Ilyenkov published was the 1960 work, Dialektika abstraktnogo i konkretnogo v 'Kapitale' Marksa (The Dialectics of the Abstract and the Concrete in Marx's Capital). The original manuscript was prepared back in 1956, but because it seemed to contain too many controversial assertions which deviated from the standard Diamat view on how Marxist philosophy should be interpreted, it disappeared into the desk drawer of the then all-powerful academician Pyotr Fedoseev. There are different value-form theories; the value-form approach includes authors who underestimate the quantitative side of the theory of value and question abstract labour as the substance of value. The substance of value has been re-interpreted as a reduction taking place in the market, through money, and its definition as 'a productive expenditure of human brains, nerves, and muscles' is rejected.

Keywords: dialectics; Evald Ilyenkov; Marxist philosophy; Pyotr Fedoseev; value-form debate



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