RE: [xmca] Method/Methodology

From: Steve Gabosch (
Date: Tue Aug 23 2005 - 23:01:30 PDT

Sasha's discussion of the term "methodology" is intriguing. I
certainly agree that there is no such thing as a methodology without
theory, but I also would agree with the statement that there is no
such thing as a theory without methodology. In other words,
methodology - the use and study of method - is an essential property
of any serious theoretical system, and all serious theories employ
methodology. This of course applies to Marxism, which can be claimed
to be the most methodologically advanced theoretical system because
it consciously synthesizes all methodologies (formal logic,
dialectical logic, observation, experiment, induction, deduction,
analysis, synthesis, etc. etc.). It is very common among Marxists of
many tendencies to speak of a "Marxist methodology," which seems to
be used more or less synonymously with the more commonly employed
term "Marxist method." One or the other or both of the two terms to
my knowledge are used ubiquitously by virtually the entire rainbow of
Marxist tendencies, dating back to the late 19th century. Googling
around a little, I notice that the term "Marxist methodology" is
sometimes used to mean "Marxist method," but not in a way that
attempts to differentiate the two. The news that Ilyenkov never used
the terms methodology (or epistemology) certainly gets my attention,
and I will think about that as I study EVI. But until Ilyenkov or
Sasha can persuade me otherwise - and I admit, I have been finding
EVI quite persuasive over the last couple years since I discovered
him through xmca - my perspective is to continue to view the term
methodology as a property of theory, and to apply the method (or
methodology if you prefer) of Marxism as best I can to understand,
among other things, the ways method and methodology are used in human affairs.

- Steve

At 03:09 PM 8/21/2005 +0400, Sasha wrote:
>Hi all,
>IMHO the problem of meaning of so called "methodology" is a little bit more
>complicated than it can be estimated from the first sight. First of all this
>term is rather new. It was brought into fashion in the beginning of the last
>century. Neither Hegel nor Marx had ever used it. Certainly Ilyenkov knew
>this term but never used it either.


xmca mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Sep 01 2005 - 01:00:09 PDT