dialectic

Philip Goldstein pgold at strauss.udel.edu
Wed Feb 22 06:25:55 MST 1995


	Hans writes that "First is the identity that X is X; this is
found to be
epistemologically wanting.  Second, X is -X; e.g., X passes over to
not X; i.e., counterphenomenality.  Third, X is Y; or X is internally
related to Y, that is to say the existence of Y is necessary for the
existence of X; i.e., transphenomenality.  Forth, X is X after all;
i.e., positivity." This symbolic formulation loses the richness of
Hegel's metaphysical language, which speaks in terms of a negation and a
negation of the negation -- Do the symbols come from Bhaskar? Marx's
problem was with the "X is X after all," as Hans says. This negation of
the negation was idealist because it took place within the realm of
spirit and not what Marx called real history. In other words, Marx
expected real historical developments to conform to this Hegelian
pattern. WHen Marx adopted Feuerbach's views, he found justification for
this critique of idealism, as Hans says; however, Althusser -- Lulu was
right about you, Ralph Dumaine -- showed that Marx's subsequent critique
of Feuerbach -- concrete activity tests thought -- implies a critique of
dialectics insofar as the critique of dialectics opened historical study
to a science of its multiple determinations, what Althusser called its
overdetermined development, rather than its simple reassertion of
identity.

Philip Goldstein


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