H*lp: Roy Bhaskars Critical Realism (fwd)

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Sat Apr 8 23:16:05 MDT 1995

Hello Hans,

In your message forwarded rather late, about Roy Bhaskar you
referred to

 > Marx's "In the social production of their lives"  the famous
 > Preface passage (which continues, all this is my own translation:
 > people enter into determinate relations that are necessary and
 > independent of their wills---relations of production, which correspond
 > to a determinate stage of development of their material productive
 > forces.)

In the translations to which I have access the word "definite" is used
where here you use "determinate". What is the German original please and why
perhaps do you prefer "determinate"?

In November I think I recall you saying that the word  "bestimmen" in
the crucial vivid paradoxical sentence a little later, is the word usually
translated as "determine":
"It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being,
but, on the contrary,
their social being that determines their consciousness."

I will explain my particular interest in the nuances between a word like
"determine" and words like "condition" or "characterize",
which resonates with recent exchanges by Ralph, Hans Despain and others,
if you could clarify your own commentary on the German original.

Many thanks and regards,

Chris Burford

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