marx and bhaskar

Hans Despain DESPAIN at econ.sbs.utah.edu
Thu Feb 23 22:27:48 MST 1995


Allin Cottrell, writes his "misgiving[s] about Bhaskar concerns his
originality, or lack of.  What, in the end, is he saying that was not
already said by Marx, Engels, Althusser?"

Wow, this is strong!  I'm not sure that very much of what Bhaskar
says is actually explicitly said by anyone else.  Much may be
implicit, but even this is often confussed.  Here again, I think I
can find something important from Colletti.  In other words, it is
because Marx never is explicit about his philosophy of science that
we can only construct his method from a few brief mentions and his
presentation.  Colletti suggestion of returning to Kant, can seem to
stand on appearently firm ground becuase Marx never explicated what
his methodology is, hence, maybe Kantian intuition can be
acctractive in this light.  And, in fact Marx's method can even
seem more eclectic then this.

It seems to me that Bhaskar is following Marx very close.  But,
because Marx seems to being accepting some kind Kantian intuition,
Bhaksar project is much more then what any of the above three were
able to say.  Bhaskar continually seems to be asking the
trancendental question 'if Marx's theory is correct (as it certainly
seems to be) then what must the world and society be like.'
Bhaskar's work seems a very important contribution, just explicating
what is implicit in Marx is of great value, but Bhaskar certainly
goes beyond this.  It seems to me that this extention of Marx comes
even more clear in his *Dialectic*.

Bhaskar actually gives a very good, but implicit critique of
Colletti's position.  And I for one believe that Bhaskar offers much
more then a re-statement of Marx, Engles and Althusser.


Hans Despain
University of Utah
despain at econ.sbs.utah.edu


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