Table of Contents



Part I:  18th- and 19-Century German Philosophy:
   Epistemology and Metaphysics

Chapter One:   Science and Critique: The Evolution of the German Perspective from
     Kant to Marx

Immanuel Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason
Hegel and the Radicalization of the Critical Method
Marx's Turn From Positivism to Science as a Critique of Political Economy
The Critical Method in German Idealism and Political Economy

Chapter Two:   Time and Critique: The Temporal Dimensions of the Dialectical Method

Logic, Ontology, and Time
Temporality and Science in Hegel's Logic: Dialectics and the Concept
Realization of the Concept and the Concrete Totality
Temporality and History in Marx's Later Political Economy

Chapter Three:   Materialism and Critique: The Schelling and Feuerbach Responses to Hegel

Schelling's Rejection of Hegel's Theory of Objectivity and Identity
Feuerbach's Rejection of Hegel's Synthesis of Consciousness and Reality
The Empiricism of Schelling and Feuerbach and Ambivalence of Marx's New Materialism
The Philosophical Foundations of Marx's Materialism

Part II: Epistemology and Method in Marx's Later Works

Chapter Four:   Rethinking Method: Reflective Reconstruction of History

Epistemological Grounding of Political Economy
The Hegelian Notion of Begriff and Political Economy: History and Logic
The Dialectic and the Logic of Capital
Science, Political Economy, and Ontology
From Simple Commodity Production to Capitalist Production

Chapter Five:   Against Epistemology and Foundationalism: From the Theory
   of Political Economy to Social Practice

Introduction Hegel and Marx: From the Negation of Science to the Negation of Epistemology
Marx's Theory of Truth
Marx's Dilemma of Objective Validity and Truth as Social Praxis
Science as Social Practice and the Critique of Privileged Representations
The Duhem-Quine Thesis and the Beginning of Scientific Conventionalism
Social Practice and the Post-Empiricist Philosophy of Science: Rorty and Feyerabend

Part III: Meta-Critique and Political Economy:
   Marx's Legacy

Chapter Six:   Epistemology and Political Economy:
     From Philosophy to Social Theory

Ideology, Consciousness, and the Sociology of Knowledge
Historical Materialism as Social Epistemology Social Ethics and the Meta-Theory of Political Economy








    One of the continuing ironies of Karl Marx's works is that, though he comes out of an extremely complex and rich intellectual tradition, he offers us little direct insight into the philosophical foundations of his own methodology in his critique of political economy. The heart of this book will be devoted to the investigation of the epistemological and methodological foundations of Marx's political economy with special emphasis on his later economic writings in the Grundrisse and Capital. Capital in particular, will be examined as his response to certain epistemological and meta-theoretical dilemmas raised and developed in the philosophical tradition of German Idealism, which he then incorporates into his own critique of liberal capitalism.

    This book will trace the evolution of the critical method used by Marx from 18th-century metaphysics and epistemology to 19th-century German political economy. These philosophical traditions and the evolution of the "method as critique" were partly a response to the epistemological questions raised by David Hume in his critique of science. His central focus was around the crisis of the philosophical justification of science and of the 'dilemma of objective validity'; the latter is defined as the difficulty of relating and validating the relationship between thought and reality. Of further concern is the analysis of how Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Feuerbach, and Marx deal with this crisis of epistemology and scientific validation. The result is a critique of the traditional views of positivism in both its empiricist and rationalist forms and the necessity to rethink the methodological foundations of Marx's political economy. After these considerations the fascinating developments in Marx's approach to political economy in his later writings take on a completely new configuration and meaning. His critique of bourgeois science and positivism radically transforms his own method of analysis of capitalist society in very unexpected, exciting, and radical ways. These sometime obscure meta-theoretical issues are really not the remnants of some fanciful metaphysical system inherited from the Hegelian imagination, which he proceeds to incorporate en masse into his critique of capitalism. They are the heart of any serious attempt to examine the methodology of social science. The goal of this work is not to reconstruct or revive the Geist of Hegel, but the vision of Marx.

     These epistemological issues are the unraised questions that ground Marx's whole approach. What must be done is a clarification of these issues and comparison of them with his analysis of the logic of capital and his use of the critical method. If epistemology and methodology fall into place, are logically consistent, and help explain each other, then we will have made a small contribution to an understanding of 19th-century political economy. With this in mind the reader will be taken through three meta-theoretical levels of Marx's method of analysis of the structures of capitalism: (1) the clarification of 'critique' and method from Kant's epistemology, Hegel's phenomenology, to Marx's political economy (Chapter One); (2) the analysis of 'critique' and time, that is, the temporal dimensions of the critical method as they evolve from Hegel's Logic to Marx's Capital and the difference between the use of the future in explanatory, positivist science and 'critique' (Chapter Two); (3) and finally, 'critique' and materialism, a study of the complexity of the category of materialism, the ambivalence and ambiguity of its use in Marx's critical method, and the ontological and logical dilemmas created by the Schelling-Feuerbach turn toward materialism in their critique of Hegel (Chapter Three). The critique of political economy is, therefore, examined at the levels of methodology, temporality, and ontology.

    To what do the categories of political economy really refer when the positivist interpretations of Marx have been shattered and 'critique' becomes the method of choice? What kind of knowledge do we have if it is no longer "scientific" in the traditional sense of both epistemology and methodology? And what kind of applicability will it have when its format is such as not to produce predictive, technical knowledge, but practical knowledge in the Greek sense of the word (praxis)? What becomes of the criterion of truth when epistemology itself, like science, is undermined by philosophical reasoning? Finally, what is the criterion for the evaluation and validation of knowledge produced by social praxis? These then are only some of the issues and questions to be dealt with in this first part. To get at these very perplexing and hotly debated questions we must first uncover the German tradition and its use of the term 'critique' in its epistemological, phenomenological, and political economic forms and its three dimensions as method, time, and materialism.

    The book continues with the examination of the actual application of Marx's epistemology to his method of social critique and critique of British and French political economy. As the work moves from epistemology to methodology the reader will see how German philosophy becomes incorporated into a new 'science' of critical political economy (Chapter Four). Epistemology becomes an actual force in method. Also in this section the transition from method and theory to social practice is examined along with the methodological problems and implications for Marx's notion of 'theory and practice' (Chapter Five). The utilitarian, pragmatic, functionalist, or positivist readings of Marx's social practice have been the generally accepted interpretations for both Marxists and non-Marxists alike. Reading Marx in the context of the critiques of epistemology and science of the German tradition and the revised reading of his critical method, radically transforms our understanding of his use of praxis as an epistemological category. The philosophical justifications for both science and epistemology have collapsed and Marx must search elsewhere for a basis for the validation of his critical method. It now lies nowhere in theory, since meta-theory has been undermined along with science itself. What is startling are some of the similarities these issues and problems have with contemporary post-empiricist philosophy of science. The third part centers around the legacy of Marx, a critique of some of the contemporary interpretations of Marx as a positivist by Wellmer, Habermas, and Baudrillard, the moral philosophy and democratic consensus theory underlying social praxis, and the further implications of his ideas and method for modem social theory (Chapter Six).

    The two major purposes of this work are, on the one hand, to expose the hidden methodological foundations and assumptions of political economy as they develop from the 18th- and 19th-century philosophical debates and, on the other, to examine Marx's response to them along with his own critique of science and positivism in his later works. I recognize that this is going against the grain of some of the most known and accepted interpretations of Marx, but I have always been uncomfortable with the general interpretations of his supposedly scientific method in his economic writings. This results from their lack of analysis of the epistemology which structures his social critique and their general reliance on specific passages, many times pulled from context, to carry the weight of their positivistic readings of Capital. For this latter work: to be an example of explanatory science with its predictive and positivistic categories, its whole meta-theoretical framework would have to be archaeologica1ly discovered and clearly defined.

    Positivism is a theological perspective, whose central tenets lie in the belief in scientism and objectivism. That is, its central component is based on the belief in the exclusionary centrality of science as the only form of legitimate knowledge and in the metaphysical belief in the existence of an objective physical and social reality. This philosophy of science has its own epistemological, methodological, and ontological assumptions and foundations. Its methodology assumes the independence of an objective reality (metaphysics of science), which can be examined with a value-free method (objectivity), producing independently verifiable objective facts, which mirror the objects of nature or society. Marx's Capital has generally been interpreted using either the empiricist or rationalist variants of positivism. However, this book will show that Capital, rather than being a 19th-century product of positivist thinking, represents one of the most articulate criticisms of this approach.

    Marx's critique of positivism will be examined through his theory of consciousness, objectivity, false universalism, and his critique of fetishism and epistemology. He undermines its epistemological, methodological, temporal, and ontological assumptions, its theory of science and verification, its instrumental rationality, and its technical purposes of application. With this critique the meaning of Capital and, in turn, Marx's whole critique of political economy takes on a new character; this major work must be rethought and its place in the development of Marx's thinking must be re-examined. This will involve a major reassessment of his intentions, theories, and methodologies. Marx's goal was not to develop a positivist theory of political economy, but a critique of positivism itself, which would involve a new set of assumptions regarding knowledge, method, and verification.

    In Capital Marx analyzes the logic and structure of capital, not the history of capitalism. While the historical institutions and relationships are joined to social theory, they are united only at the level of logic and do not immediately reflect social reality as it exists. The philosophical foundations of Marx's methodology in Capital have a very complex meta-theory due to the unusual nature of his borrowings from European philosophy. His critique of capitalism is a structural, historical, and technical critique of its institutions and values whose ultimate purpose is the critique of all forms of false consciousness, i.e., false claims to scientific knowledge by the positivism of classical political economy and political theory.

    Though there have been excellent works on Marx's method, theorists have not dug deep enough to find the depth-structures which underlie and support that method. For a good interpretation of Marx's science and positivism there must be a correspondingly good interpretation of his epistemology and meta-theory which would justify such a position. But this has not really been done. I think, mainly because it simply does not exist implicitly or explicitly in Marx. Marx is too closely tied to German Idealism and its constitution theory of truth for this to happen. The interpretations of Marx's positivism need an epistemological justification, which, I will argue, is not there. What is there both explicitly and implicitly is the German intellectual tradition and its very rich and complex reaction to traditional positivism, its scientific method and epistemology.

    Marx pushes his analysis of science beyond traditional categories to include knowledge as an expression of praxis, creativity, and objectification (sociology of knowledge), as an expression of power and class relations (critique of ideology), and finally, as an expression of the whole array of the historically specific institutions of society (political economy). Marx was moving in the direction of social praxis within the institutional limits of political economy. If consciousness, the objects of consciousness, the categories of knowledge, and the criterion of truth are formed within particular social formations and modes of production, then there is a direct relationship between knowledge and self-consciousness, on the one hand, and the types of social institutions found in liberalism on the other. A corollary theme involves the analysis of the integration of epistemology with political economy. Social institutions and the resulting interpersonal relationships are part of epistemology for they have the ability to distort and undermine the quest for self-consciousness and moral autonomy. The clarification of the meaning of social practice and its grounding of truth- and validity-claims will be studied in relation to the manner in which the social system fosters or restrains the search for truth; false consciousness and ideology are products of a society which attempts to hide the power structures and social forms of domination and exploitation. Thus the early and later political economy are viewed as forms of social epistemology.

    Somehow when considering the epistemology and methodology of Marx's later economic works these issues have been forgotten, as he is generally viewed within the positivist tradition and its defense of objective science. Therefore, this work will establish the epistemological continuity between his earlier and later works and his rejection of the modem science of the British economists; it will show the continuity between his theory of objectivity and false universalism as it develops from his early anthropological critique in 'On the Jewish Question' and 'Private Property and Communism' to the methodological analysis of his later political economy in the Grundrisse and Capital. The real change is not one from philosophy to science, but from an application of his critical epistemology, i.e., his theory of objectivity and praxis in his philosophy of man to the methodological foundations of his later social critique. This will mean that the categories of science, 'critique', materialism, and 'theory and practice' will have to be rethought along with a new interpretation of the nature of political economy. This, in turn, will radically alter the way Marx's economic categories and theory have been understood. The generally accepted division between Marx's critical and early writings and his later scientific ones yields to an understanding of the continuity of a critical science with roots deeply placed in both materialism and idealism.

    If positivism is abandoned as the appropriate form of science, then the issues of the normative foundations and justifications of knowledge, the evaluation and critique of the social institutions of liberalism and their effect on the creation of knowledge and human consciousness become very important. Thus we cannot lose sight of the fact that Marx's methodology can be examined froth four simultaneous perspectives: its internal logic, its epistemological foundations, its place in the broader analysis of social knowledge which includes social psychology and the critique of knowledge and ideology, and the relationship between method and social practice. To summarize, this work is about the meta-theoretical foundations (epistemology and methodology) of Marx's political economy and analysis of modernity in terms of their relation to the developments in the classical epistemology of German Idealism. It will also examine how Marx's method is still relevant for a critical insight into the structures and values of modem capitalism. A short overview of the range of issues and their logical development to be dealt with in the analysis of Marx's methodology in Capital entails the following:

                                                EPISTEMOLOGY IN CLASSICAL GERMAN IDEALISM

1. a critique of the traditional justifications of science -- induction and deduction in Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.
2. the crisis of science and the undermining of the ability to justify philosophically science at all resulting from Hume's scepticism.
3. a critique of epistemological theories and an undermining of both rationalism and empiricism in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.
4. an analysis of the 'dilemma of objective validity' and the philosophical problems of justification of concepts and their relation to reality, that is, the justification of the relation between ideas and reality, subjectivity and objectivity (Hume, Kant, and Hegel). 5. Hegel's critique of epistemology in general and a new theory of consciousness which is social and historical in his Phenomenology of Spirit.
6. Hegel's definition of science as the dialectical self-movement of the Concept (Begriff).
7. the Hegel critiques of Feuerbach and Schelling which establish the later philosophical foundations of historical materialism. Feuerbach's turn to sensuous reality (materialist moment) and Schelling's separation of concepts and reality and his critique of Hegel's identity theory (idealist moment), thereby reinforcing the original problem of the 'dilemma of objective validity' thought solved by Kant and Hegel.
8. the development of the dialectical method and the notion of temporality implicit in this logical form from Hegel's Logic, where the future unfolding of the Concept represents the actualization of the past and where the end is already contained in the present (totality). A different understanding of time and history and the role of reflective consciousness than occurs in the positivist tradition.

                                                MARX'S META-THEORY AND MODERN POLITICAL ECONOMY

9. the transition from epistemology to methodology and the development of the real concrete implications of the above epistemological issues for Marx's logico-historical method.
10. Marx's theory of objectivity (methodological, perceptual, and metaphysical objectivity) and false universality in the Early Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts and their later methodological implications.
11. his critique in the 'Theses on Feuerbach' and The German Ideology of the traditional theories of epistemology, and positivism in particular, in light of his theory of objectivity and his sociological constitution theory of truth (historical materialism as epistemology).
12. the epistemological and methodological importance of his notion of the fetishism of the categories as the methodological application of the idea of alienation to his later writings on the critique of political economy.
13. the formation of a science of political economy based on three crucial elements -- the method of 'critique' (from Kant's transcendental, Hegel's phenomenological, to Marx's political-economic critique), the dialectical method of the development of the Concept (Begriff) of capital, and the temporal dimensions of the method in which the future represents the development of the original past internal logical contradictions of commodity production (Hegel's Logic).
14. the sociology of knowledge and critique of ideology as further critiques of positivism; the objects of immediate experience are pre-structured and pre-formed within the social formation of a class society based on private accumulation and property.
15. the distinction in Marx between political economy as method of presentation (Darstellungsmethode) and research method (Forschungsmethode). Marx's method of immanent critique -- not a mirroring of historical reality as is the case with an explanatory Science of positivism, but a critique of the attempts at an ethical justification of the liberal values of liberty, freedom, and social justice in a society characterized by the theory of value, labor abstraction, unpaid surplus labor, class antagonisms, rising organic composition of capital, tendency of the profit rate to fall, and chronic economic crises, on the one hand, and by alienation, reification, economic misery, and distorted human development on the other. Marx's economic crisis theory is an expression of both the logic of capital (essential conceptual contradictions) and its ethical critique.

                                                                                  BEYOND META-CRITIQUE

16. Marx's critique of epistemology, positivism, and foundationalism and the turn toward social praxis as the basis and criterion of truth in his 'theory and practice'. Praxis is viewed from the methodological, epistemological, and ethical perspectives and is intended to solve the crisis of knowledge raised by Hume.
17. epistemology is transformed into a political economy, a sociology of knowledge, critique of ideology, and moral philosophy, that is, into a social theory. Political economy is, in turn, the social framework within which consciousness and the objects of consciousness are created (social epistemology) and the framework within which the very possibility of moral action and moral autonomy takes place (social ethics).
18. Finally, the criterion of the truth of social practice is found in the institutionalization of democratic consensus seen in the Paris Manuscripts, The Civil War in France, and the 'Critique of the Gotha Program' and in the philosophical tradition from Aristotle, Rousseau, to J. S. Mill. The notion of praxis used by Marx includes both the model of work from Hegel and the model of political participation from Aristotle.

    The difficulty with laying out the argument so succinctly is that it appears as a simple linear progression of ideas from Hume's epistemology to Marx's political economy. The reader should note that each idea will continue to affect every other one, turning Marx's methodology into a very complex philosophical problem which will look more like the double helix of DNA. The dialectic becomes a real part of the presentation of Marx's own ideas as the book moves from the philosophical foundations of Marx's epistemology in classical German philosophy, his meta-theory and its application, to political economy, and to the legacy of Marx beyond epistemology and meta-critique.

                                                                                           OUTLINE OF THE WORK

    Part I: The traditional theories of consciousness, objectivity, and science will be examined as we develop the implications of the German critiques of epistemology and science for the new social 'science'. This will not be a simple analysis of the development of Marx's method from idealism to materialism, rationalism to empiricism, or from philosophical abstractions to concrete historical analysis. Those distinctions are more caricatures than workable perspectives. Marx's use of the dialectical method is in part a direct response to the 18th-century questioning of the nature of knowledge that led beyond science to a critique of epistemology itself. The first part of the work, as we have seen, involves the analysis of the development of the philosophical foundations of Marx's later writings on political economy. The meta-theoretical foundations of Marx's critique of British capitalism lies in his ideas on epistemology. How does Marx form his political economic categories; what role do they have in social critique; what are the normative foundations of his analysis; what relationship is there between his concepts and the social reality they analyze; and how is this relationship justified in his 'theory and practice'? Over the past few years these issues have been seen as relatively unproblematic, since the philosophical context of his political economy (positivism) has gone mostly unquestioned. Some authors had recognized the continuity between his early and later writings and the humanistic enterprise that underlay both parts of his intellectual life. But even given that his later writings were still seen to be scientific in the positivist tradition and thus not open to serious philosophical questioning. This work will show the epistemological continuity between his early and later works. Though his particular method of analysis changes from the early emphasis on Feuerbach's transformative method and philosophical anthropology in the Paris Manuscripts, to some positivistic experiments of his middle period in The German Ideology and Communist Manifesto, it is in the later period that he incorporates the materialistic critical method developed from the German Idealist and Left Hegelian traditions into his analysis and critique of the categories and structures of political economy in the Grundrisse and Capital.

    The incorporation of immanent critique, the dialectical method, and his notion of social practice into a critique of British positivism and their science of political economy forms the foundation of Marx's approach. We will see how the methods, developed within the German Idealism of Kant, Hegel, and Schelling, were transformed to meet the specific needs of Marx's social critique. His epistemology and the direction of his dialectical method are predicated on the very same problems and issues dealt with in this tradition. It will be shown that Marx did not simply take over an unreflected methodology, but was aware of the philosophical reasons for the necessity of a dialectical method, which was, for him, the only alternative to the inadequacies of traditional empiricism and rationalism and epistemology in general. Their attempt to deal with the questions of the foundations of epistemology and truth were grounded in a false set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and consciousness. This connection of the original philosophical foundations of idealism and the problems it was responding to will help clarify some of the later difficulties of interpreting Marx's methodology in his political economy.

    In particular, idealism was certainly a response to the issues raised by David Hume and the crisis of science he precipitated. Hume's critique of the ability to ground philosophically deductive and inductive logic, his critique of epistemology and the logic underlying the very possibility of epistemology, his analysis of the 'dilemma of objectivity validity', and his skepticism regarding modern science are picked up by the German intellectual tradition and, in turn, by Marx. They remain to this day the crucial epistemological problems surrounding any attempt to ground a serious study of society. Kant attempts radically to solve these problems within the generally accepted framework of epistemology by synthesizing rationalism and empiricism within his transcendental logic. It is Kant's 'critique' of epistemology, correspondence theory of truth, the traditional relationships between subjectivity and objectivity in the knowledge process, and his development of a constitution theory of truth, which furthers and expands Hume's original insights. They also form the basis of the conventionalism of modern neo-Kantian philosophy of science in the 20th century which will be analyzed in part of Chapter Five.

    However, it was Hegel in his Encyclopedia and Phenomenology, who transformed epistemological issues into a phenomenological critique and social theory. That is, he realized that the relationship between subjectivity and objectivity and the formation of consciousness took place within the cultural value systems of historical societies. Consciousness itself was transformed from the abstract and transcendental subjectivity of the Critique of Pure Reason to the historical subject as it negates its own cultural expressions as external and alien and recognizes its own subjectivity as the only truth. Crucial at this early stage is that Hegel did not represent simply another form of idealism, but was, in fact, responding to the same types of questions as Kant in the latter's analysis of Hume's reflections on the nature of truth-claims and science.

    At each point in this development the critiques of traditional epistemology and science became more vocal and more radical. Hegel still caught up in identity theory and the dialectical unfolding of the Absolute Spirit fails to make the final break which will be made by Marx. If subjectivity and objectivity are both constituted in the process of thinking and producing, knowledge and labor; if epistemology and science are undermined as legitimate forms of knowledge; if the relationship between concepts and reality becomes more tenuous and problematic after Kant, Hegel, and Schelling; if consciousness is formed not in a transcendental consciousness and logic, but under real conditions of social interaction and cultural development, then Marx takes the final step by stating that the criterion of truth is established by social practice within the material conditions of society. Epistemology has evolved from the consideration of the privileged forms of knowledge through concepts (rationalism) and sense experience (empiricism) to an understanding that it is constituted in cultural and social formations (social theory). This is the Copernican revolution in sociology.

    The response of both Kant and Hegel to these issues must be analyzed not only for the purpose of tracing the development of the critical method from German Idealism to Marx's materialism, but also for giving us important clues as to the ultimate underlying reasons for the development of the German alternatives to the traditional epistemologies. This will in turn give us crucial insights into many of the philosophical reasons left unarticulated by Marx for his approach to social critique. There is a Profound logical discontinuity between Marx's methodological reliance on the German intellectual tradition and the later claims made by other theorists about Marx's positivism, materialism, and economic determinism. To have the latter there must be a complete rejection of the former. This I will argue is not the case. The application of science and positivism to his later works will be seen as highly problematic, if not improbable, given our understanding of the nature of the critical and dialectical method and its philosophical assumptions about subjectivity and objectivity and a constitution theory of knowledge. His method and logical approach represent philosophical responses to the serious deficiencies of traditional epistemology and philosophy of the social sciences. By incorporating this method into his political economy he was also incorporating the whole tradition with its philosophical Problems and questions. Uncovering these questions will lead to an uncovering of many important methodological issues of Marx's critique of capitalism in Capital.

    It seems that much of the secondary interpretations of Marx, when tracing the evolution of his method, show the connection between German philosophy and his political economy, between idealism and materialism, between philosophy and science; what is lacking, however, is an analysis of German philosophy as a response to the crisis of science and epistemology, which continues to be important to Marx in the formation of his new method of social critique. The same problems of objective validity, the critique of privileged representations, the relations between concepts and reality, theory and history, morality and social structures, knowledge and social action, etc. become incorporated into his meta-theory and his formulation of political economy in his later writings. It is this type of relationship between philosophy and political economy which must be investigated. German Idealism is not simply the historical predecessor to materialism and historical analysis, but continues to supply Marx with his underlying philosophical foundation, justification, and most important of all, his epistemological vision. To have a political vision one must also have a political epistemology.

    Within this discussion of the classical German tradition and Marx a central focus will be on the analysis of the evolution of the concept and method of 'critique' as a specific form of science that developed within the German philosophical traditions of the 18th and 19th centuries. As the method of 'critique' develops from Kant's transcendental analysis to Hegel's more radicalized and historicize form of phenomenological critique to Marx's critique of political economy, we will trace the development of the philosophical issues to which the critical method is a specific German response. This will greatly aid us in the later clarification of Marx's method in part two. This section also represents a critical analysis of the thoughts of Habermas and others relating to Marx's method of 'critique', which partially accounts for its more detailed exegesis and working through of the issues. Though Habermas is very interested in the question of the evolution of the critical method from Kant to Marx in Knowledge and Human Interests he does not continue the investigation into Marx's later political economy. The reasons for this are clear in that he accepts the positivistic interpretation of Capital as we shall see in Chapter Six and he also accepts the neo-Ricardean Cambridge School criticism of the metaphysics of Marx's labor theory of value. Habermas, therefore, turns away from the most interesting developments of 'critique' in German thought into analytic language philosophy and reconstructive phenomenological philosophy.

    Though Marx himself has left us with little epistemological or methodological writings except short pieces scattered throughout his lifetime of works, it will be argued that the foundation and justification of Marx's method of critique of capitalist social forms involves similar philosophical problems and issues found in Kant, Hegel, and Schelling. It is ultimately the relationship between the concepts of political economy and the historical social forms which create these problems for Marx. Only after we go through the above analyses does the relationship become clearer; they cannot be accepted as given from the start with some generalized notion of materialism and science. These categories themselves must come out of the textual exegesis, out of the discussion surrounding Marx's theory of objectivity, his critique of epistemology, and his method of dialectical critique in his political economy. Though it is generally recognized that Marx's method is grounded in materialism, the nature of the categories of materialism and their relation to the real world are something that must be examined further in light of the above issues in Marx's epistemology. There seems to be a real ambivalence about the nature of materialism in Marx, which is a direct result of Schelling's critique of Hegel's identity theory and the latter's synthesis of concepts and reality; it is Schelling who really questions the relationship between logic and history, the status of categories and their range of applicability, even within the limits of his own metaphysics. The relation between logic and ontology in his works will be of real importance for Marx's solution to the problem of the relationships between concepts of political economy and social reality, theory and history, and method of research and method of presentation. Schelling's metaphysics supplies the missing methodological link between Hegel and Marx. The latter's idea of 'theory and praxis' is viewed as the response to this particular problem of objectivity validity. In the context of the German epistemological tradition Marx's methodological writings really call into question the positivistic theories of objectivity, truth, and science, which make their application to his developed theories very unlikely and improbable.

    The goal of the analysis is to show that the concepts of materialism and idealism, theory and practice, history and logic are more complex and problematic than previously thought and that the political economy of Capital is not an example of positivistic science and, therefore, does not mirror, explain, or predict historical reality. Dialectical and critical categories cannot be made to perform methodological tricks which are not possible within their logical structures. The notion of the future used by both Hegel and Marx strikes right to the heart of the temporal dimension in positivism. The latter view of science uses a mechanistic and deterministic sense of time closely connected to the predictive capacity of future facts and events by theory. Marx in contrast to this uses the notion of time developed out of the dialectical method and Hegel's logical system. Here the notion of the future is understood as the actualization and realization of the logical principles (and with Hegel the ontological also) within Reason or the Absolute Spirit. The future does not drive beyond itself nor is it the result of the prediction of what is to come. Rather the future is the realization of the past, i.e. the past as its own logic. Rather than the anticipation of the "coming-to-be" of something not yet, it is the finishing of that which, logically at least, "has-a1ready-been".

    The future is a temporal dimension of the inherent possibilities both negative (economic crises) and positive (self-enlightenment) which lies in the present moment of time. The future unfolds itself from its own immanent principle (the Concept), its own rationality which exists within itself and is not imposed by science. Marx translates this as the internal contradictions of a class society which develops chronic social and economic crises due to its own internal dynamics. The key point here is that the future is not being predicted or imposed on history from an external authority, but represents the harmony and connection between the logic of the past and the present The temporal dimensions of the past, present, and future are intimately bound together, while in the positivist tradition they are simply unconnected moments in a mechanical world in which man is forever lost. The history of this process is nicely contained in William Leiss' work The Domination of Nature.

    With the critiques of Hegel by Feuerbach and Schelling there is a split between history and social theory, ontology and logic which makes problematic any immediate correlation between concepts and reality. This means that Marx's notion of 'theory and practice' must continue to playa crucial role in his later writings, which opens up the question as to the epistemological status of social practice for Marx. Does practice structure the social context of the categories and consciousness (sociology of knowledge) or is it involved in determining the validity of the truth-claims themselves (epistemology). It is the acceptance of the later position which will force us back to the Greek classical tradition and forward to the post-empiricist philosophy of science of Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Rorty for further clarification of the notion of social practice and the normative foundations of political economy. It will be argued that the modem tradition will, in fact, help clarify and supplement some of the methodological assumptions of social practice that Marx leaves unarticulated. In turn, if practice is involved in the definition and determination of truth-claims, then the methodological implications of this for political economy must also be considered.

    Part II: The second part of this work deals with the application and implications of Marx's epistemology and its philosophical traditions to the real world critique of his political economy in Capital. That is, the translation of these philosophical questions will be examined in terms of their relation to the formation of Marx's method in his later economic writings. The methodological writings of the Grundrisse will be compared to the procedures used in Marx's presentation of his analysis at the start of Capital. The ideas of the critique of epistemology, traditional philosophical theories, and fetishism will be tied directly to the specific method and theories of economic development and crisis employed in Capital. The issues of false consciousness and objectivity from the Early Manuscripts will be taken up again in his analysis of fetishism at the end of the first chapter of Capital. When this is done, a different picture of Marx's method will emerge which differs greatly from the traditional view of a materialist and explanatory science. The method of beginning with commodity production and the contradiction between use-value and exchange-value is examined within the context of the nature of the dialectical method and the concept of time embodied in the notion of social totality (unfolding of the potentiality contained within the Concept of the commodity as a logically completed, but not historically completed totality).

    The analysis of the simple market exchange and its normative assumptions grounded in the liberal values of equality, freedom, and liberty are compared to the actual nature of the market and labor activity within a developed capitalist economy. The past philosophical critiques of false objectivity and fetishism are connected to his critique of modem political economy with its emphasis on the factual, immediately given experience, and the formation of transcendent universal laws of economic behavior and social evolution. His whole procedure at the beginning of Capital and his methodological theorizing about the subject at the end of Chapter One clearly indicates a break with the positivist past and any residual positivism in his writings from the middle period. This, united to the philosophical foundations of his ideas in part one, paints a very strong picture of a method in which the relations between economic categories and historical reality are no longer privileged by a particular philosophical system. Marx's theory of surplus-value, unpaid labor, and his theory of value are analyzed within the historical context of the abstraction of the labor process from the form and quality of the production process (reduction of all labor to quantifiable time and historically specific production techniques). They are then compared to the initial liberal assumptions of the underlying political and cultural values of society in an immanent critique of the justification of the whole social system.

    This process of abstraction is the key historical component of commodity production, for Marx, in which exchange-value is the result of the abstraction from all use-value characteristics of labor. Once he begins to analyze capitalist society, Marx combines his theory of value from Volume One of Capital with his notion of economic crises in Volume Three. Analyzing the distinction between the rate of surplus-value and the rate of profit accumulation in an historical situation characterized by the "rising organic composition of capital" -- increasing use of technology in the labor process and a rising imbalance between variable capital (wages) and constant capital (means of production) -- Marx develops an understanding of historical tendencies, which are the working out of the internal logic of the system in history (Concept as a logical potentiality). However, the nature of these tendencies are to be defined within the framework of Marx's meta-theory. Again the meaning of the relationship between his whole theory of economic crises and a possible breakdown thesis can be understood only after the nature of Marx's categories and their meta-theoretical status are clarified.

    In the past these categories have been too quickly applied to the analysis and explanation of history without an examination of their logical and ontological status as products of thought. That is, the actual reference points of the theory were simply assumed to be the immediate historical reality. Marx was writing about the historical development of industrial capitalism and commodity production, but he was not necessarily doing history or traditional science. Given the epistemological principles underlying his method, they do really not seem to be possible methods. The laws of capitalist evolution are not strictly historical laws, though they do apply to the historical and material conditions of capitalism; they are grounded in and are products of the real material relations of society. However, they are tendencies built into the logic of the capitalist system that work themselves out at different historical periods in different crisis forms. It is this strong idealist component that is crucial. Marx is not dealing with the historical reality directly, but with its immanent potentiality and future as expressed in his use of the method of 'critique', i.e., the future as the development of the Concept and logic of capital. The end is already contained in the immediate abstractions of the original logical contradictions between a society built on material production for the satisfaction of human needs (use-value) and a society based on private accumulation and property for profits (exchange-value). The logical contradictions are the foundation upon which the historical crises manifest themselves. One, however, is not reducible to the other as logic is separated and distinct from history (the result of Schelling's critique of Hegel and Marx's partial return to Kant). How the emphasis on the idealist side of Marx will affect the treatment of his materialism will be interesting to follow. The relationship between these categories and history is determined not by the traditional form of correspondence between concept and reality, but by the transformation of the consciousness of those engaged in producing that society. The relationship is determined by the whole series of developments in the evolution of Marx's epistemology and methodology from his earlier essays to the social epistemology and sociology of knowledge in Capital.

    This more systematic and comprehensive form of analysis drastically changes the nature of Marx's critique of political economy and the way in which it can be understood. When epistemology is tied closely to methodology a new picture of his intentions arises. Self-consciousness and truth become the result of social practice and the type of society which permits the development of a free and rational self-consciousness. Therefore, the nature of Marx's materialism, dialectic, and 'critique', viewed from within an expanded understanding of his theory of reflection, objectivity, and critique of epistemology also opens the door to further reflection on the nature of the good society and democratic consensus. Since the nature of truth and science has changed along with the relationship between 'theory and practice', then the importance of the justification of norms, moral action, and the good society becomes even more central. At the end of this part there is a comparison between Marx's epistemology and political economy and the works of the post-empiricist philosophy of science (Kuhn, Feyerabend, Rorty, and Habermas). The major point here is to examine two apparently different traditions which come to similar conclusions regarding the critique of epistemology and foundationalism (of science) and the necessity to ground truth in social consensus. The comparisons will help clarify some of the philosophical issues about which Marx never dealt, while the philosophy of science will in turn be supplemented with ideas relating to a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of social practice in Marx's sociology of knowledge, his critique of ideology, and his examination of the nature of social interaction within capitalist societies. What might at first appear as an arbitrary juxtaposition will in the end lead to a further clarification of the possible range and value of Marx's notion of social practice as applied to his methodology. Much has already been written about praxis as an anthropological category, but everything in the German tradition now leads to praxis as the crucial category of epistemology and truth. However, this concept is not viewed from within either utilitarian or pragmatic interpretations.

    Part III: Finally, the third and concluding part of this work centers around the relationship between the traditional philosophical subareas of ethics, epistemology, and social theory (political economy and social theory of knowledge). It will be shown that the traditional questions about the moral issues of right and wrong, good and bad, the nature of the good citizen and the good society, questions about the nature of knowledge, truth-claims, and the formation of consciousness are in the long run really questions about the ideals, nature, and structure of social institutions, i.e., political economy. That is, the content and form within which moral issues are decided, the formation of consciousness and the justification of various claims to knowledge and truth are made within historically specific social relationships. Social class, power relationships, property ownership, political and economic power, and the social relations of production become the backdrop within which the traditional philosophical questions can be answered. Philosophy has traditionally raised these types of questions, but only within a new framework, which includes political economy, is there any hope for adequately dealing with them. It is a social theory grounded in political economy which unifies these philosophical and empirical/historical dimensions into a coherent whole; meta-theory becomes social theory.

    Part Three represents the study of the implications of the previous two parts for social theory. The implications of joining Marx's epistemology, methodology, and theory of social praxis are drawn with an eye to further questions and research areas. In particular it will be shown that the traditional subareas of philosophy -- ethics and epistemology -- must be understood today within the context of social theory broadly interpreted. Because of the contradictions inherent in traditional philosophy and its inability to deal with the real world, philosophy must be turned into political economy. Traditional questions of epistemology become questions of the sociology of knowledge and the critique of ideology. It also represents the broadening of the meaning of public and political, as democracy is now understood within the context of both political and social (economic) institutions; democracy, in turn, becomes a category of epistemology. Marx is tied to an expanded intellectual tradition which connects the areas of moral epistemology and political theory. In this tradition the epistemological foundations of knowledge are also questioned and resolved by the introduction of questions about the nature of the community, the economic system, the political constitution, and the social order.

    This is the tradition that goes back to Aristotle's ethics. If Aristotle was concerned with the development of the virtuous man, his moral character, and the formation of a moral consensus in the polis, it is Marx who expands the notion of the public to include the whole of political economy. With a more sophisticated sense of ideology and false consciousness he is also aware of the institutions of capitalism which undermine democratic dialogue. He joins morality and democracy to the concerns of political economy. This widened scope of analysis is also part of Marx's attempt to overcome the fragmentation and alienation of traditional disciplinary division of labor and the resulting distortions of complex social problems and their possible solutions. Finally, brief mention will be made of the ethical direction in Marx's critique of epistemology, his use of 'theory and practice', and democratic theory.

    There is one point of consensus regarding Marx in the history of modern thought and this is the idea that he was a revolutionizing force. However, it was in the epistemology and methodology of his critique of political economy that his truly radical nature comes to light. And these areas and issues are still very much with us today.


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