Re: Discussion of EVI's Concept of the Ideal

From: Steve Gabosch (
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 01:31:23 PDT

Well said, Andy.

Have you written on this issue of the ideal?

- Steve

Andy Blunden wrote:
>I think that Ilyenkov clarifies and develops what was only partially
>developed and "hesitant" in Marx. In Chapter 3 of Capital Marx says:

>"The price or money-form of commodities is, like their form of value
>generally, a form quite distinct from their palpable bodily form; it is,
>therefore, a purely ideal or mental form."
>and he later contrasts price and value in a way that does not allow us to
>say that Marx saw money as an objective ideal as Ilyenkov does. He uses
>"ideal" in Capital on several occasions in the way engineers talk about
>equations as "just ideal" in contrast to real behgaviour. I would venture
>to say that Marx was not able to go as far as Ilyenkov at an historical
>time when a "life force" was still being posited as the cause of body
>temperature and the memory of Hegel's Geist was still very fresh.
>Personally I find Ilyenkov's extension of the Marx's idea valid and
>appropriate. Marx for example, uses the word "abstract" in just the way
>that Ilyenkov uses it, but it does appear that he did not go so far as to
>use the word "ideal" in quite that way.

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