File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-07-31.055, message 46

Date: 	Thu, 18 Jul 1996 02:37:20 -0400
Subject: Re: dialectics

Jukka Laari writes:

>It's not that dialectic represents reality, rather we become
>'dialecticians' when we try to figure out all those different real
>threads and their 'complex' relations. Perhaps 'dialectic' means our
>effort to 'reproduce ideally' all contradictory, interrelated threads
>in reality and evaluate them? Don't know.. any sense?

This is exactly the point. I have developed it at length on the list last
year. But since Jukka has brought the question back, I will briefly face it
again here:


Above all, life is a process of metabolism, the process where a subject
appropriates its environment to produce itself. As such, the living subject
carries in itself the capacity for regulating its process of metabolism.
That is to say, it is able to cognize the potentiality of its own action
and of its environment, so as to control the self-consumption it must
undergo in the process of producing itself.

Immediate cognition by means of ideas

The subjects of the cognition by means of ideas always starts by facing
their object as something external to themselves as such subjects. Under
its simplest form, this cognition reaches the necessity of the subject's
own action just insofar as this one virtually manifests itself to the
subject's mind as an immediate link between the mutual necessity of subject
and object. Consequently, such form of cognition does not go beyond the
very exteriority of the subject and of its object. It is determined, thus,
as an _immediate_ ideal cognition.

The _representation_ of reality by means of thought

This cognition develops into cognition by means of thought when the subject
goes beyond the immediate concrete forms to discover their necessity as
realizations of their abstract forms. Nevertheless, on performing this
advance, the subject comes up, first of all, against the exteriority of the
abstract forms themselves; that is to say, the subject starts by ideally
facing the abstract forms in what these forms have of realized necessity,
under their appearance as purely concrete forms. From which, the
appropriation of a real necessity in thought takes its most primitive
specific form by ideally placing by itself in a causal relation the real
forms (abstract and concrete ones) starting from the way they present
themselves to it; that is, by mentally conceiving links among the real
forms on the basis of their exteriority; and, therefore, independently from
their necessity.

Cognition becomes a mental construction that follows a causality alien to
the real one: the ideal _representation_ of reality. Logic is the
scientific general form of this mental necessity. The analysis inherent in
scientific representation, that is, in scientific theory, separates the
abstract forms according to their degree of repetition, thus stopping at
their externality. The return towards the concrete forms that comes after
this analysis, takes shape in the addition of the non-repeating, and
consequently previously excluded forms, to the representation. This process
has no other necessity to follow than the purely constructive one dictated
by its logic.

Given the externality of the logical ideal necessity with respect to the
real necessity it represents, scientific theories cannot go beyond being
the formulation of hypothesis about the reality that exists in potency. And
as scientific theory itself has already shown, there is no logical way of
reaching the certitude about the content of reality of theoretical
hypothesis previously to the action based upon them. Of course, it is
always possible for more than one mental necessity to fit between the
externality of the same real forms. So this sort of mental construction has
no other relationship with the real forms it deals with than being one of
their possible interpretations on a logical basis. As far as an
interpretation of reality comes in, the corresponding real necessity
remains beyond cognition's scope. So the action ruled through an
_interpretation_ of reality, is an action that still knows its own
necessity only through its appearances.

The _reproduction_ of reality by means of thought, i.e., dialectics placed
right side up

The appropriation in thought of the real forms in their virtuality
transcends the exteriority of these forms by ideally accompanying them in
the unfolding of their real necessity. In this way, scientific cognition
mentally reproduces their real concatenations, thus taking the form of an
ideal _reproduction_ of reality. This cognition has no way of proceeding
other than by making each real concrete form account for the necessity that
it carries in itself as already realized, and each abstract real form, for
the development of the necessity to be realized which it is. The analysis
separates the concrete form that we face, from the necessity that it
carries in itself as the other-one whose realization determines it. That
is, it takes shape in the discovering, inside the concrete form (and as
such, realized necessity), of its abstract form (and as such, necessity to
be realized).

The reproduction of reality in thought advances by following the
development of the necessity that the simplest abstract form carries in
itself. As soon as this abstract form realizes its necessity, i.e., it
affirms itself as an abstract form, it negates itself as such abstract form
to affirm itself as a realized necessity, i.e., as a concrete form. But
this concrete form immediately negates itself as such, affirming itself as
a form that carries in itself a necessity to be realized, i.e., as a new
abstract form. This reproduction of the development of the real necessity
by means of thought is unable to get to its end before reaching a form
whose necessity exists only as a potency, and this potency has our
transforming action, determined as an action that has needed to follow all
this path to become a conscious action, as its necessary form of realizing
itself. That is, it is unable to get to its end until our action can
discover its own concrete form of conscious action, i.e., can discover
itself, as the necessary concrete form of the realization of the real
potencies at stake. Due to this form of its method, the ideal reproduction
of reality is determined as _dialectical cognition_.

By facing a real concrete form, our present-day general social relation,
capital, Marx finds that it is possible to analytically discover the
necessity that determines a real form and to follow thereafter its
development until reproducing it in thought. Moreover, Marx discovers that
this reproduction is not an abstract question that just concerns scientific
method as such. He discovers that this reproduction is the concrete form
that the revolutionary production of the consciously regulated society
necessarily takes: this production needs to materializes itself in the
conscious action that is determined as such for being regulated through the
reproduction in thought of its own necessity as such revolutionary action.
And this is what Capital is about.

To finish by directly addressing Barkley Rosser's multiple choice

>     If dialectics is not a "two-valued logic" then what
>is it?  A many valued logic?  A fuzzy valued logic?  A
>no value logic?  Not a logic?

As the reproduction of the real necessity in though, dialectics not only is
not a logic, but the historical overcoming of logic. Logic becomes confined
then in the limited field of mathematics, that is, in the specific field of
the cognition of that real forms determined as the self-affirming through
the negation of self-negation. The nature itself of this determination only
allows its representation and not its reproduction, but also frees this
representation of the burden of being an interpretation. And, yet,
mathematics itself undergoes a substantial change in its form as soon as it
becomes a specific moment in the reproduction of reality in thought.

I can send via e-mail to anyone who may be interested a copy of my article
"Capital's Development into Conscious Revolutionary Action: Critique of
Scientific Theory," (in English or Spanish) where I synthesize my
developments concerning the forms of scientific cognition.

Juan Inigo

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