File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-07-31.055, message 140

Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 21:24:29 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: RE: Marxism and reductionism

When Marx and Engels asserted that the economic factors ultimately lay at the
basis of societal development they did not reduce societal development to
the economic factor. Similarly, when Lenin argued that everything that is,
was, and will be is engendered including ideas, he did not reduce ideas
to matter. It is not reductionist to assert the primacy of a factor.
For example, in the case of ideas, it is obvious that ideas can give rise to
other ideas (correct and incorrect ones). That there utimate source in the
material world--repeat--that their ultimate source and the ultimate test of
their truth content remains in the material world does not mean a reduction
of ideas to matter.
Erwin Marquit

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