[Marxism] Rosa L. replies to RL and LK (@Tom)

XxxxXxxx XxYyXxx xxxxxxx99 at xxxxxxx.xxx
Wed Oct 7 10:54:02 MDT 2009

Calm down Tom, I think you’re jumping in on the discussion a tad late. It's not a question about you or Rosa ‘accepting’, in the abstract, the historical roots of Aristotle's logic. The question Rosa answered, abstractly and only too evasively, by saying “it came from aristotle, so what?”, was “where does logic come from Rosa?”. It wasn't a question of ‘facts’, and I could care less as to how we should label Aristotle, and labeling seems all that Rosa can do. It's about explaining these social material roots by investigating what were the material neccesities which gave rise to the common assumptions and concepts which logic starts from, because otherwise one is bound to get lost in an opinionistic maze of ahistorical abstractions and tautologies. 
My point was that Rosa's pseudo-Kantian (Kant, “the philosopher of the french revolution”, Marx called him) "quibble" with the metaphysical obscurantism of the dialectic is only done from an abstract ahistorical point of view. To start criticizing metaphysics with pure logic one has to show first that logic pressuposes no metaphysical assumptions (which only unfortunately for the pure formalism of Rosa, it does,) for practical purposes, let's just say these are 'un-provable' assumptions from which logic must start from. Unless you want to say that criticizing ideas for being metaphysical with another metaphysics is reasonacle. These are justified, Rosa claims, by being ‘common-sense’ or ‘clear’ (like Rosa’s paraconsistent and deontic logic, or Ludwig’s tractatus), but this is shibboleth. It’s to start from the purely formal, unconscious, and uncritical standpoint. Where's the historical necessity, where do we see an argument which shows how these assumptions were necessary for the materialization of labor?
It’s hardly a simple problem I admit, and at no point do I mean that the investigation, which is empirical and scientific, should be dismissed as saying that logic is ‘abstract’ just like that, that's why I referred to the literature, and that involves dealing with the atomism of analytic philosophy. I think a critique of this is well-argued in the beginning of Errol Harris’ “Formal, Transcendental and Dialectical Thinking”.
As for the common sense assumptions and concepts, I referred to the work of Alfred Sohn-Rethel which argues that the abstrat mode of thinking derives from the real abstraction of exchange (it being abstract because exchange must be separated from use,) leading all the way up to the fetishism of intellectual labor, do you have a better suggestion?
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