(2017) Husserl Studies 33 (1).

Critique of reason and the theory of value

groundwork of a phenomenological marxism

Ian Angus

pp. 63-80

There are three steps in my description of the ground-problem of value: First, Husserl’s analysis of the crisis of reason is based on the systematic loss and phenomenological recovery of the intuitive evidence of the lifeworld. But if letter symbols are essential to formalizing abstraction, as Klein’s de-sedimentation of Vieta’s institution of modern algebra shows, then the ultimate substrates upon which formalization rests cannot be “individuals” in Husserl’s sense. The consequence of the essentiality of the letter symbols to formalization is that no direct reference to intuitive evidence of individuals is possible from formal structures. Second, the crisis of reason in Marx’s Capital on commodities contains a parallel analysis of the contradictory relation between formalism and evidence. The value-structure of capitalist society expels qualitative value to subjective use and imposes a homogeneous standard on social representation of value such that quantitative values are not grounded in the experience of use which entails that the system of general value becomes a mere aggregate. Third, the problem of value, or formal axiology, is the core of a teleological convergence between phenomenology and Marxism. A short phenomenological description of the experience of value shows that practical activities generate valuations that are experienced with an intensity through which they aim toward social representation. The conclusion is that the social representation of value in capitalist society intervenes into the constitution of the community by the intensity of individuals’ value-experience to reduce its system of value to an unthematized simple aggregate of value-quantities.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s10743-016-9200-1

Full citation:

Angus, I. (2017). Critique of reason and the theory of value: groundwork of a phenomenological marxism. Husserl Studies 33 (1), pp. 63-80.

This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.