Steve's post on Chaos (from Tom)

Steve.Keen at unsw.EDU.AU Steve.Keen at unsw.EDU.AU
Sun Nov 13 20:07:09 MST 1994


Tom writes:
|Steve,
|
|here's another criticism: you assume that Marx accepted the Fictean
|dialectic of thesis, antithesis,
thesis.  In actuality, this was far
|too crude for either Marx or Hegel, who criticized this version
|explicitly.

Tom, I had enough of "straw men" debates when I had a debate on the
LTV prior to you and Justin joining the list. Some people seem to
think that they know what others think. For the record, here is
a footnote from my thesis:

|The popular description of the dialectic as involving a thesis, its
|antithesis, and finally a synthesis, is in fact derived from Fichte
|rather than Hegel or Marx. For informative discussions of the role
|of dialectics in Hegel and in Marx, see especially Wilde, L., Marx
|and Contradiction, Averbury, Aldershot, 1989. See also the article
|by George, M., "Marx's Hegelianism: An exposition", in Lamb,
|D., ed., Hegel and Modern Philosophy, Croom Helm, London, 1987. A
|useful introduction to Hegel is provided by Singer, P., Hegel, Oxford
|University Press, Oxford, 1983, though he does use the thesis-
|synthesis-antithesis analysis.

So I don't "assume that Marx accepted the Fictean dialectic of
thesis, antithesis, synthesis": you assumed that I do, and you are
wrong.

The above has nicely sidetracked the whole reason for me making a
comment in the first place: that Alex was right to say that chaos
theory has to be taken seriously by modern Marxists.

Incidentally, apropos of your assumption that chaos applies at
the molecular level only (an assumption I think I am allowed to
make, since you made that statement in at least two postings): the
first two systems to which chaos was applied were the weather,
and what is known as the "many body" problem: predicting the
path followed by more than two planets under the influence of
their respective gravitational fields. Both the weather and
planets are clearly on a larger scale than the molecule.

Cheers,
steve Keen


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