Dialectics: to reproduce is not to represent

Juan Inigo jinigo at inscri.org.ar
Fri Jun 16 00:02:43 MDT 1995


>Marx opposes to representation and interpretation a new form of
>scientific cognition that overcomes their externality with
>respect to the real forms.Instead of ideally taking this real
>forms by their externality, to represent them by relating them
>according to an ideal necessity, he discovers the possibility of
>ideally following the development of the real necessity itself:
>"the reproduction of the concrete through the path of thought."
>Logic, the mental necessity needed to scientifically represent
>the real forms, must leave its place to the reproduction in
>thought of the real necessity that determines each concrete

finally produced Ralph Dumain's


This is quite a leap forward from his usual philosophical damnation
"bullshit, etc." to the possibility of "reproducing reality in thought" as
opposed to "representing reality in thought." And it is even a leap forward
from his acceptance of this possibility provided it is considered only as
some sort of "an ideal, and I believe in it too" thus turning the question
of the forms of science as the necessary regulation of conscious
revolutionary action into the abstractions he enjoys so much, where
everything comes down to one of those "vast concern over objective reality"

Maybe he has found "some productive ideas about science and alienation" in
my posts after all. But no, his agreement with me is as short as his "OK".
He immediately steps back, to assert that, even if the "ideal reproduction
of reality" actually exists, it does not exist:

>And the reproduction in thought of the real necessity is also
>a form of representation, and presumably this reproduction in
>thought is also what the natural sciences aim at, so we are back
>where we started.

Does being an autodidact even excludes reading dictionaries, in Ralph's
concept? Dictionaries are the faster, albeit superficial, way of seeing
that "representation" and "reproduction" are not synonyms whatsoever. But,
obviously, much more real research work than reading dictionaries is needed
to develop the difference between "ideally reproducing" and "ideally
representing" reality.

It is about developing the distinction already present in Hegel between
representation, whose development obeys a necessity external to its object,
and dialectical cognition, that follows the unfolding of the necessity
immanent to its object, despite he falls to the appearance that the
necessity in question is that of the Idea itself.

It is about following Marx putting dialectics right side up by discovering
that the object at stake, the necessity whose unfolding must be followed in
thought to consciously regulate the transformation of the world, is the
real determinations of this very action as a concrete specific form of
matter. So it is the following of this real necessity itself that takes the
place of the mental abstract necessity, the logic, upon which
representations are constructed, thus overcoming the unavoidable
exteriority between the former and the latter necessities, that limits the
scope of representation to the appearances of the real forms.

Moreover, it is about discovering the historical determinations of a
scientific cognition thus limited, but that appears today as the only
possible form (therefore eternal form) that science can take, at the same
time that the acceptance of its limited scope and (as the opposite face of
the same unity philosophy/scientific theory) the rejection of its limited
scope beyond its own logical foundations, have become cliches.

Of course, all this is far from what can be found in Bunge (that Ralph
judged of interest concerning the point), who believes that mathematics
does not deal with a real form - matter specified as the self-affirming
through the negation of self-negation, i.e., real quantitative
determination considered in itself - but only with a purely ideal form, or
who brings down the question of scientific progress to an abstract struggle
between rationality and irrationality (but, of course, Ralph has only
"little acquaintance ... with his work"). And it is also far from what can
be produced by bringing down the specificity of capitalism (where the
materialized general social relation becomes the concrete social subject
thus alienating all human potencies, therefore human conscious action, as
the fetishistic potencies of that relation, capital) to

>the administration of society based on one
>group of people who direct its actions, and another group who are
>reduced to executing the designs of the administrative group.

But, according to what his posts show, Ralph's attachment to scientific
research doesn't go beyond the superficiality of the dilettante, that
satisfies his rather academic taste by invoking ambiguous bibliographical
references. By the way, he has professed his anti-relativist faith but he
has never explained how he believes scientific theory overcomes the
externality of its logical necessity with respect to the real necessity it
attempts to appropriate, that scientific theory itself identifies as the
problem of being logically certain about the reality of its results
previously to the action based on them.

Juan Inigo
jinigo at inscri.org.ar

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