Capital as a social kind : definitions and transformations in the critique of political economy

Howard Engelskirchen

Capital as a Social Kind provides an introduction to social kinds in social theory. Thinking about kinds, the way we sort the things of the world into categories -- water, for example, is a natural kind - has made an important contribution to our understanding of science in the last half century, but these advances have been largely applicable to the natural, rather than the social sciences. Drawing on the rich examples offered by Marx's analysis of capital and exploring a methodology that will be of interest to both Marxist and non-Marxist social theorists alike, Capital as a Social Kind extends this approach to the study of social life. The book argues that, provoked by his study of Aristotle, Marx's attentions foreshadowed contemporary themes in the realist philosophy of science. Importantly, social kind analysis is relevant not only to understanding his critique of political economy but illuminates also a materialist study of law, justice, morality and the transition to socialism. Social kind analysis also opens a path for the development of today's moral realism by suggesting the need for a systematic study of the causal structures of social life. In this respect the importance of normative themes in Marxism is defended against claims that the Marxist tradition lacks the resources to call capitalism unjust or to defend morality and human rights. The origin of capital, Marx suggests, can be found in the rupture of an original unity between the laborer and the means of labor, and the book explores the way a structure of separations best characterizes capital as a social kind. This uncovers a little developed emphasis in Marx's work - his focus on the phenomena of separation that define our lives and also on forms of association required to transcend them. Given that capitalism has made the instruments of labor instruments of social labor, forms of association that would recover worker control over them must be democratic. The transition to socialism, the book concludes, just is winning the battle of democracy. This book will be of interest to students and researchers of economics, philosophy and indeed any social science subject.

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  • Part 1: Definitions 1. Introduction: Social Kinds in Social Theory Realism For Homo Sapiens Natural Kinds Social Kinds Arguing For Social Kinds Naming Kinds Naming The Sensuously Unobservable The Object Of Marx's Capital The Real Definition Of Capital Conclusion: Extracting Realism's Kernel 2. Why is This Labor Value? - Commodity Producing Labor as a Social Kind The Critique Of Ricardo Marx And Aristotle The Social Form Of Commodity Producing Labor From Aristotle To Contemporary Scientific Realism Enthusiasm For Social Kinds The Kind Constitutive Properties Of The Commodity Form Marx And The Continuity Of Scientific Reference Conclusion (Appendix: Backhaus and the Analysis of Capital's First Chapter) A Remarkable Claim Reconsidering The 'Defectiveness' Of Marx's Presentation Labor As The Substance Of Value 3. Separation and Subordination: The Real Definition of Capital as a Social Kind The Separations Of Capitalist Production Abstraction And Simple Determination The abstraction of 'capital in general' 'The Method of Political Economy' The simple determination of social things The Fundamental Aporia Of Capital Every separation is the separation of a unity Capital's differentia specifica Towards A Real Definition Of Capital Premise: labor's possibility as abstract possibility Starting point: labor's capacity as a commodity for capital Process: labor's activity as the use value of capital Result: labor's objectivity as capital The Real Definition Of Capital Conclusion 4. The Concept of Capital in The Grundrisse Reference Fixing And Marx's Analysis Form determination is causal determination The simplest determination Real definition and reference Categories and convenience Concept and referent Constitutive and attributive properties The concept of a labor-form composite The point however is to transform The Real Definition Of Capital Capital's double separation The three moments of capital The first moment: the simple concept of capital The second moment: the unity of production and valorization The third moment: the unity of production and circulation The machine as an incarnation of capital's double separation The double separation as a barrier to capital Conclusion Part 2: Transformations 5. Value and Contract Formation "Consideration" - A Point Of Departure The Simple Determination Of Value Generating Law Generating Consciousness From Value To Bargain From Bargain To Legal Obligation Consideration In Anglo-American Law Consideration And Social Reproduction Final Remarks (Appendix: Value as a Social Kind) 6. What Ought to Be Done: Marxism and Normativity A Parable Of Normativity Normative Marxism From Separation To Association 7. Winning the Battle of Democracy "Overthrow Capitalism And Replace It With Something Nice!" Once Again On Separation And Association From The Perspective Of Things To The Perspective Of Persons From Formal Ownership To Real Control Overview: Winning The Battle Of Democracy Democratic Tasks Overcoming the separation of workers from the conditions of production as premise Overcoming the separation of workers from the conditions of production as starting point Overcoming the separation of workers from the conditions of production in the labor process Overcoming the separation of workers from the conditions of production as result Overcoming the separation of units of production Conclusion CODA Social Kinds Capital As A Social Kind Winning The Battle Of Democracy

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書名 Capital as a social kind : definitions and transformations in the critique of political economy
著作者等 Engelskirchen Howard
シリーズ名 Routledge frontiers of political economy
出版元 Routledge
刊行年月 2011
ページ数 xxv, 209 p.
大きさ 25 cm
ISBN 9780415776912
NCID BB05323529
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言語 英語
出版国 イギリス