Marxism as science

Juan Inigo jinigo at
Thu Apr 27 22:11:02 MDT 1995

Lisa Rogers writes:

>Basic assumptions, bodies of theory and
>testable hypotheses guide research.  But the point is to learn about
>reality (assuming that there is such a thing), and if we already knew
>it all, we wouldn't need to do research.

The point is to discover the real necessity of our action, that is, our own
determination as the real concrete form we are. The point is that cognition
is the real process in which we, a specific real form, consciously rule the
realization of our potencies as such specific real form to transform the
potencies of other real specific forms into actualities for ourselves. The
point is always: "what is to be done?"

It is the alienation of human potencies as potencies inherent in the
products of human labor that introduces the mediation of the autonomous
regulation of social life in the ruling of conscious human action. As soon
as the process of cognition is seen by the consequently alienated
consciousness as being deprived from its immediate determination as the
regulation of human action upon reality, reality itself appears as an
abstraction (and thus, assertions as "learning about reality" "assuming
that there is such a thing" arise). So the alienated process of cognition
faces the necessity of starting by dealing with reality as the abstraction
it has turned it into. And the only way of doing it is by interpreting
reality. Scientific cognition is thus placed as needing to be based on a
general interpretation of reality: a philosophy.

Marx revolutionarily discovers that the overcoming of alienated
consciousness takes shape in the overcoming of interpretation of reality
through the "reproduction of the concrete through the path of thought."
This reproduction brings philosophy to its historical end as the basis of
science, making it visible as a purely ideological form, that is, as a form
that only belongs in the alienated consciousness.

It is then that philosophers as Althusser (claiming that ideological
interpretations necessarily precede science), Bhaskar (claiming that
science unavoidably needs the "underlabouring" of philosophy) or those of
the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (with their philosophical text-books)
arise. These philosophers personify a specific necessity of present-day
society in the production of alienated consciousness: that of crudely
negating Marx's revolutionary advance in scientific method by inverting
Marx himself into a philosopher, by producing a Marxist Philosophy.

Juan Inigo
jinigo at

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