This expansion and specialization would lead to the compartmentalization and the increasingly sharp separation of each field of knowledge. In this way, complexity, specialization and fragmentation would be necessary results in the social process journey TONET, b. Given the recognition of the negative results of this process, it is sought to find a way that brings back to the knowledge that character of totality that it provided, both in professional training, in the performance of theoretical researches and in the analysis of social problems, thus exceeding the atomized vision of Objects.
Hence the emergence of the proposal of interdisciplinarity. The main point of the question is that the approach of the same object under different perspectives, in the case of the human sciences — philosophical, sociological, economic, biological, anthropological and so on-; would be the way to overcome this fragmentation of knowledge. On the other hand, reality itself would determine the need to avoid the rigidity of compartmentalization.
The recent appearance of some new fields of science, whose limits are very fluid, would show that it is almost impossible to define specifically and clearly where a certain scientific territory begins and ends TONET, b. Thus, it is possible to question what makes such a proposition so attractive, and that questioning it will probably provoke an immediate reaction of astonishment or rejection. This attraction seems to result from its truism, its reliance on empirical aspects that are easily identifiable, to present itself as the only way to overcome the fragmentation of knowledge and to present supposedly positive results TONET, b.
Throughout the history of humanity, but especially in the last centuries, and even more in recent decades, a great fragmentation of social reality and a significant expansion of the territory of knowledge has been noticeable. It also seems to be undeniable that this has led to a growing specialization given the impossibility of a single individual mastering the whole of knowledge and given the birth of new fields of professional activity. Throughout this process, several disciplines have been created without connection between themselves, making teaching and research a real quilt.
As a result, formation occurs through the juxtaposition of disconnected parts, preventing a vision of wholeness. In the same way, the varied and complex social problems that emerged from the industrial revolution and the impossibility of solving each one in isolation are also clear TONET, b. These authors, in their theorizing, limit themselves to seek to overcome fragmentation by epistemic, pedagogical or behavioral ways, not realizing that fragmentation is simply a natural result of the social process, the former being a necessary consequence of the latter.
In this way, they end up assigning to knowledge an autonomy that it does not really have, thus treating the fragmentation of knowledge as a process that occurs within the knowledge itself. In order to support the basis of this statement more clearly, what is meant by ideology must be made explicit. Thus, ideology is understood as a movement of concealment of reality, used with the purpose of attending to specific interests, in the great majority of times of the hegemonic class. That is why Marx and Engels , p. Interdisciplinarity came to the country in the late s, and since then, several authors have discussed this issue in the Brazilian scenario.
Among these theorists, there are those who seek to contextualize the emergence of interdisciplinarity itself with academic debate; The beginning of this process was in the s. They indicate, as an initial reference, the work of Gusdorf , , one of the pioneering scholars of interdisciplinarity in France. In the s, Hilton Japiassu began to deal with interdisciplinarity in his book Interdisciplinarity and Pathology of Knowledge, in which he posed questions about the theme and reflected strategies based on experiences about the method of interdisciplinary work.
According to the author, the fragmentation of knowledge weakens the professional intervention. In this way, the interdisciplinary attitude, which must be intrinsic to the individual, must be of reciprocity, seeking the exchange, the dialogue with identical pairs, anonymous or with himself, besides the humility before the limitations of the own knowledge and the perplexity before the discoveries of New knowledge. It is about dedication and commitment to the projects and people included in this project.
Gusdorf has a critical thinking about the fragmentation of knowledge that he associates with the nineteenth century, which resulted in the expansion of scientific work and quantitative accumulation of knowledge, which had, as a negative consequence, the compartmentalization of knowledge in increasingly deeper, but limited fields.
To this specific vertical dive, Gusdorf wants to oppose new horizontal connections, in search of a lost totality. For the author, the processes of specialization and disciplinarity are understood as diseases to be cured by interdisciplinary praxis. Still regarding interdisciplinarity, Gusdorf comments that everyone defends the interdisciplinary character of the educational institutions throughout university reformations.
But for many, this means just joining several colleges in the same place, or joining several experts with their particular languages side by side. And his proposal for this is a general and superior knowledge, a human science regrouping and rearticulating a convergent humanism. There are several studies that explicitly recognize the difficulty of developing a homogeneous conception of interdisciplinarity, which seems paradoxical considering the unifying ambitions of such a platform. Most of them tacitly accept interdisciplinarity as a solution.
But not all. Interdisciplinarity, in this case, would be an operational necessity for scientific knowledge to continue being produced and transmitted in the same terms. In contrast to all affirmations of interdisciplinarity as a practice of expanding knowledge, exchange of experiences, etc. Leaving aside the material roots of the fragmentation of knowledge, and even admitting that it is a natural process, it presupposes that it is a purely epistemic problem and can therefore be overcome in the epistemic plane as well.
At most, beyond this merely epistemic plan is also added a moralistic plan, emphasizing the need to have pedagogical integrative attitudes. TONET, , p. According to Tonet a , all these dominant theories that try to problematize the question of interdisciplinarity are partial. This assumption is based on the assumption that complexity and fragmentation are only natural results of the social process, and fragmentation is a necessary consequence of the former. Nor does it take into account the ontological dependence of knowing in relation to being.
As much as they make references to the historical process that led to the fragmentation of knowledge, one cannot perceive the association of ontological submission of knowledge in relation to material conditions. In this way, knowledge is attributed to an autonomy that it does not really possess, thus treating the fragmentation of knowledge as a process that occurs within the knowledge itself.
From this, it seems evident the need to redo the totality lost, through the rapprochement of these new fields. Therefore, it is assumed that, from the sum of these several fragments, it is possible to reach a totalizing knowledge of a given object TONET, a. The problem of whether human thought corresponds to an objective truth is not a problem of theory but a practical problem. It, in reality, means that man has to demonstrate the truth, that is, the reality, and the force, the earthly character of his thought.
The debate about the reality or the unreality of an isolated thought of the practice is a purely scholastic problem. From this statement, one can see that the critique of interdisciplinarity is not only the critique of interdisciplinarity, but the critique of the world that produces and needs this form of production of knowledge.
The initial and fundamental question is to understand what world this is, and who is interested in putting reality, denying the possibility of the knowledge of totality, as methodological, ontological and historical necessity demands - since capitalism is intrinsically expansive and totalitarian. It is necessary, then, to investigate who is interested in reducing the possibilities of knowledge of the real and its contradictions.
It seeks to know who benefits from the concealment of the horizon of the conscious action of individuals, which reduces any perspective of social transformation and contestation to particularistic and fragmented understandings. Considering these presuppositions, before proposing any formula for overcoming the fragmentation of knowledge, it is necessary to clarify this phenomenon and not accept it as something natural.
For this, it is necessary to understand, from its material roots, the process that led to this result. However, the understanding of this process cannot start from an already well-advanced situation of the social being that is modernity To take modernity as a starting point is a situation that is already the consequence of a certain historical process.
It would correspond, once more exactly, to take as presupposition exactly what must be explained Tonet, a. According to Frigotto , in order to understand how this situation has been reached, it is necessary to grasp the trajectory of the social being from its original bases, both in historical terms and ontological terms. The point is to verify when the fragmentation of knowledge began. It seems that it began with the emergence of private property and social classes, with the social division of labor, alienation, division between those who think and those who do, between manual and intellectual labor, and deepened with positivism, the development of capitalist society and the division between capital and labor, which reinforces the division between those who think and those who do the work and deepens alienation.
That is, the division and fragmentation of knowledge have to do directly with the form of social organization and production of material life founded on class division. Frigotto , p. The division which is produced and developed in the realm of the relations of production of the social man, as a concrete totality, is necessarily explained in the plan of consciousness, of the representations and conceptions of reality.
Frigotto states that ideas and conceptions do not have a life on their own. They express the historical moment and the form of organization of the way to produce the material life of the man in each moment. The split that is present in the plan of social relations of production is reproduced in the plan of thought and representations.
When there were no social classes, wisdom and knowledge occurred through life and were directed to life. There was no need to deprive anyone of any information and experience, there was no fragmentation. It is from this perspective that both the deeper nature of social praxis and its unfolding throughout history are understood. According to Tonet a , it is only possible to understand both the process of complexification and the process of fragmentation comprising the unitary character of the social being and the social process that led to the breakdown of that unity.
This is due both to its materiality and to what is attributed to the process of knowledge. For this, it is necessary to start from what underlies the social being. According to Marx, it is understood that this act is work. Marx points out that concrete is the unity of the diverse, synthesis of multiple determinations.
In order to understand the abstract interdisciplinary category, it is necessary to analyze from the simplest categories, reaching the most complex so that the process of understanding the whole - synthesis - is more concrete, real. According to Marx , it is from the analysis of work and its relations with the other dimensions of the social being, such as language, art, science, politics, law, education, philosophy, etc.
Work, this exchange between man and nature, through which the material goods necessary for human existence are produced, is the event that founds the social world. However, the very realization of the work imposes the intervention of other dimensions, such as language, production of knowledge, education for its realization. However, the complexification of society based on work establishes new situations, problems and needs that demand other social dimensions to face it.
Think of art, science, politics, law, religion. None of these dimensions is work, but they all originate from work.
- 2. The Problem of Demarcating Social Ontology.
- Services on Demand!
- Physics of Highly Charged Ions.
It is worth mentioning that they all have an ontological dependence on work. In this way, it becomes evident that the category of totality, even before being an epistemological category, is an ontological category, that is, belonging to the very essential nature of the social being. Thus, the analysis of the work will also allow us to perceive that it is a category that always refers beyond itself, that is, it opens the possibility of permanent creation of the new and not only the replacement of the same, as occurs in the animal kingdom.
In this way, it is characteristic of the social being to become increasingly complex and universal. Hence the term materialism. In it, human consciousness is led to think of ideas arising from material conditions. Thus the way concrete individuals relate to each other in the process involving the transformation of nature is what underlies the way the knowledge of reality is structured. As a synthesis and example, Tonet a states that the science of the modern world is the way of scientific doing, historically conditioned by the modern world. It is therefore a question of understanding, on the basis of this original unity of the social being, how, in the course of history, its process of enlightenment has led to both complexification and specialization and fragmentation, both in material reality and in the sphere of knowledge.
Thus, from the perception that the act that founds the social being is work, one can understand how the complexification is an ontological characteristic, and, therefore, essential of the social being. From the most primitive and simple groups to the present world, there is a process by which social reality becomes increasingly complex and universal. Tonet a argues that it is from this materiality of the modern world that it becomes possible to understand the reason for fragmentation, since if it is a characteristic characteristic of modern scientificity, it is because the proposal of interdisciplinarity, apprehended only from the gnosiological point of view, it is efficient.
Modern science broke out in the period of transition from feudalism to capitalism.
The central point of this transition in the production of knowledge lies in the passage from the primacy of the object, which is the Greco-medieval 14 knowledge pattern, to the primacy of the subject, which is the conception of modernity. This position, facing the world and the problematic of action and knowledge, will not undergo essential change until the end of the Middle Ages. It is essential to add that this change was only possible, firstly, thanks to the material changes that took place during this period.
To a broadly static, finite, and hierarchically ordered world, a world of slight transformation took place, ever larger and without any hierarchy. In a social order, in which the subject saw himself exclusively as spectator and beholder, an order took place in which the individual saw himself as an active constructor, both in practice and in theory.
Knowing the world, particularly nature, to transform it, has become the fundamental characteristic of this new way of being in the world. According to the moderns, that way of producing knowledge could not, in fact, produce true knowledge, since its results were not verifiable. This double nature, however, is not thematized in Being and Time , i. Even when in Being and Time Heidegger comes to talk expressly of economics, the dimension of things being commodities does not come into view: "The everyday connection of equipment at hand, its historical emergence, employment, its factual role in Dasein is the subject of the science of the economy.
Things at hand do not have to lose their character as equipment in order to become the 'subject' of a science" SZ If now, however, commodity-being is taken into account, things show themselves from another aspect, namely from the aspect of their unavailability, an unavailability based on private property, or in other words, they reveal themselves in their restricted availability insofar as things, constantly at the beck and call of money, are available for sale.
Because alien property belongs to someone else, this other person has control over it, and I do not; disposability is only mediated through being offered for sale. Here, as already sketched above, it is not a matter of a technical disturbance of the "referential network of utility", but a social disturbance, a barrier inherent in the structure of being-together-with-others. Unavailability as private property as such is a state of affairs that does not capture the essence of the value-being of things. Property has to be guided back to its essential grounding.
To do this, something like a 'value-form analysis', i. As will become apparent below, in view of an even deeper insight into the essence of the gathering of the gainable called the gainful game or the win Gewinnst, Gewinn-Spiel , this deepening of insight into exchange-value will not be the final fathoming. Insofar as value itself becomes a self-moving automaton, a movement made possible by the reified nature of value as a social, sociating relation, the unavailability of things loses the illusory appearance that it is simply a matter of the exclusive distribution of things as private property among social subjects which could be eliminated by elevating distribution to a conscious social distribution, i.
Therefore, let us once again turn to Marxian texts. Even the commodity form is mentioned only casually, at the point where Heidegger refers to the others who are co-present in the "multiple commodity" lit. The result of my production has in itself just as little relation to you as the result of your production has an immediate relation to me, i. MEW Erg. In commodity exchange, no mutual recognition of human being as needy takes place, but rather, each person sees in his or her own production only the equivalent of the other's product which he or she desires.
One person does not produce for the sake of the other's needs, but in order to appropriate the other's product. In truth I produce another object, the object of your production, for which I intend to exchange this surplus [product ME], an exchange that I have already executed in thought. The social relation in which I stand towards you, my labour for your need is therefore also a mere illusion The exchange-value being of things is always already revealed and opened up a priori to understanding, otherwise no idea of an exchange, and no exchange could come about.
The exchange is imagined in thinking that sets up images or representations before it is 'produced', or rather, brought about. The imagined exchange cannot however be brought about in the same way as the carpenter imagines a table that is to be produced, i. The carpenter's technical view is derived from knowledge about how to produce certain useful objects.
This is not the case with exchange, which is a social process executed in the dimension of value-being that is open to understanding not as technical, but as commercial know-how, i. The price-determinate value of a thing, however, despite all the techniques of advertising, cannot be technically produced under the guidance of a previously sighted view, but turns out as a factual value in the exchange relation on the 'turnover-place', Umschlagplatz the market. The imagined value refers to a moment of non-producibility and the withdrawal of things insofar as things constitute their quantitatively determinate value among themselves in the money-mediated exchange relation with each other on the market.
As commodities, things hold themselves back thus forming their own world, the commodity world with value-interrelations among themselves. Their value-being is both governed and quantitatively regulated by the money-form, a being and a form which, in line with the double nature of commodities, is completely disjunct from the neediness of people and human being in its neediness. It is in value-being itself and not in the exclusiveness of property relations , that the essential withdrawal holds sway.
With these observations on value, however, we are anticipating the late Marx before having completed the review of the early Marx. We would not understand a human language, and it would remain without effect. It is a protest against inhuman, reified relations of sociation Vergesellschaftung in which the abstractness of private property negates the needy particularity of the individuals. Humans themselves do not have any value, but only their property. Humans themselves are thus mutually worthless.
The commodity exchange relations deny human being cast as need-having; they are inhuman as long as and insofar as the human is posited as a needy-producing being. And this is the question with which we are now confronted: To what extent is such an historical casting of human being as a needy-producing being valid? Need and production are like opposite sides of a coin. The essential determination of production is the fulfilment of human need, and not, say, mere consumption or pleasure.
For Marx, any divergence or worse: diremption of these opposite sides amounts to an alienation from genuinely social human being. Against this diremption, Marx posits an historical casting of a true in the sense authentic, genuine society in which a true mutual recognition of needy human being gains ascendancy in social intercourse, in which even love is granted a secured position in the intercourse of everyday life.
To produce for each other as humans would mean, among other things, "to have been a mediator for you between you and the species, [ It is a community, a locus of being taken up into and protected by species-being, an overcoming of the splintering into egocentric individuals. When Heidegger in the Letter on 'Humanism' writes down a word such as 'alienation', he evokes at the same time the entire problematic of the young Marx, the problematic of true mutual recognition and estimation of subjects which is already announced in Hegel, albeit not in the form of a critique of the form of society, i.
On the contrary, it is a realization of human freedom 6 as particularity if not singularity , which has to be elevated to a higher level and corrected in the state, not in such a way that it would be eliminated but rather realize the concept of freedom itself in accordance with reason. What, then, does it mean with respect to the critique of private property when Heidegger writes: "Because Marx, in experiencing alienation, reaches into an essential dimension of history The "essentiality of what is historical" lies for Heidegger in "being" ibid.
Ontology of Social Being, Volume 2. Marx. - Georg Lukacs.
Do the exchange relations that predominate in the bourgeois form of society entertain an essential relation with being? Are they a destiny sent by being? Is the value-being of things in its revealedness an historical destiny sent to human being? If exchange-value, i. Why does he then push "unconditional production" ibid. Did he overlook, perhaps even push something aside, out of view?
Or did he overlook something and push it aside in order to see even more deeply - into being itself?
Table of contents
It is striking that Heidegger picks out only one moment of the fourfold totality of production, distribution, exchange and consumption constituting the material reproduction of society. By contrast, Marx toils away for years on end to bring exchange relations in bourgeois society to their concept of value , a concept that will serve as the indispensable core concept for his social ontology of capitalism as a whole. As social practices, production and exchange have an equal weight for Marxian analysis, even though "in the final instance" production is supposed to be the decisive, determining moment.
Marx is the first thinker in the Western tradition after Aristotle to undertake the task of analyzing philosophically, metaphysically in detail the form of social intercourse we call exchange or trade. Exchange, the buying and selling of commodities, is a kind of everyday taking-care-of But Aristotle had also already made a start with the analysis of the value-form, as Marx remarks MEWf , an analysis that obviously does not resonate significantly with Heidegger. Even though in his late writings Marx no longer speaks so enthusiastically of true, genuine humans in a state of non-alienation, and with relentless persistence develops the concepts for penetrating more deeply into existing capitalism on the basis of the value concept, it nevertheless remains detectable in what true human freedom consists for Marx, namely, in an "association of freely associated producers".
On the basis of the structure of value concepts developed for the critique of political economy, the alienation problematic of the early writings is transformed into the problematic of fetishism in the late writings, whereby a decisive shift of emphasis takes place in the critique. No longer is it humans who are alienated from each other by private property, but rather, humans as a whole in their social being-together are removed from their own products as value-things; in the value-form of sociation, social labour has conquered an autonomous, reified realm in which it leads its own life and follows its own self-movement.
In the excerpts from J. Mills' Elements of Political Economy , for instance, there are even passages that may be regarded as preliminary versions of a more detailed value-form analysis in Capital , where reference is even made to "equivalent" and "relative existence" with respect to private property MEW Erg. The shift in emphasis from the early to the late Marx does not consist therefore in the introduction of a completely new motif but first of all, in the disappearance of talk about untrue, alienated, inhuman humanity and true recognition and secondly, in the much more profound and conceptually grounding elaboration of the dialectics of the value-form from the simple value-form to the money form in the later writings on the critique of political economy, in which the value concept becomes the express foundation of a systematically elaborated and connected ontological theory of the capitalist mode of production.
This value-form analytical theory allows Marx to unveil, decipher and fathom the fetishism that inheres in autonomized money and the further-developed value-forms such as money-capital, interest-bearing capital, capitalized ground-rent so that what appears as properties of things essentially: money is traced back to dissociated productive activity and its as-sociation in relations of mutual valuing.
Reified social relations are uncovered and thus made fluid again in thinking with the intention of critical enlightenment. Can the value-being of commodities really be deciphered as the mystified form of social labour in such a way that there were an historical prospect 7 of guiding fetishized products in the direction of transparently socialized products? Or does the value-being of commodities refer instead to a withdrawal of beings in their being from any producibility and conscious social control by socialized humans? These questions represent an interface between Marxian and Heideggerian thinking which come down to a question concerning value-being as an historical destiny of being, a question that will be taken up again up below.
To anticipate: whereas Marx , starting with his casting of human being as needy and productive, tried to determine the value-being of commodities quantitatively by tying it back to the quantity of "socially necessary labour-time" in a commodity, the removal of this metaphysical positing of ground in labour implies that the value-being of commodities represents a groundless, non-manipulable magnitude which 'shows up' in the openness of being-together in a play of mutually estimating, valuing exchange.
What does this transformation of the alienation problematic from early to late Marxian thinking signify? It is no longer the mutual worthlessness of humans for each other as humans that is emphasized and appears as a violation of human being in the late Marx, such emphatically humanistic passages cannot be found.
Does private property for the late Marx - and in general represent a distortion of the true community - presupposing that the 'true community' is a tenable critical category? If at all, then not as such, but only derivatively, for it is reified value and not private property and the associated mutual exclusion of possession of the products that now stands at the centre of the labour of critique. Private property is only the mode of appearance of something more essential, more originary: it is a mode of appearance of value which, in the form of appearance of money, reigns over the commodity world like a king and puts its seal on the diremption of universal social from particular, dissociated interests.
According to Marx, this king is to be disempowered in order to harmonize individual needs of life with a universal, collective, consciously controlled and organized being-in-the-world. Would genuine mutual recognition of humans result from this disempowerment? Would their essential neediness then gain full social recognition and satisfaction? Would a satisfied and therefore peaceful essencing of humankind thus come about?
In this casting of communism it is as if the opposed striving of humans against each other in competitive society had been overcome and a genuine being-for-each-other, a social solidarity and appreciative mutual estimation had stepped into its place. It is as if the resistance of the other had disappeared, at least insofar as private property inevitably brings forth opposed interests.
The exclusivity of private property compels each individual to fend for him or herself, compels each individual to assert him or herself in the struggle for existence, whereas the mutual social recognition of neediness is supposed to eliminate this antagonistic opposition. In favour of an harmonious distribution of social wealth? Would the overcoming of the value-form and thus the 'just', conscious distribution of material goods really signify an elimination of social antagonism and the foundation for a realization of fraternity?
Is such a vision compatible with an historical possibility for human being? Viewed from the standpoint of the value problematic, does the struggle for existence in competition represent an alienation of human being, a violation of its innermost essence or rather its realization? The answer depends on the historical casting of human being itself. For it seems that the historical casting of humans as needy beings posits their essence as too 'low', too 'simple', too 'modest'.
Are humans concerned essentially with their own needs, as seems to have been the case in part in 'real, existing socialism', or rather with their desires? Does not human being always already reach beyond itself, and especially beyond the horizon of so-called needs of life? Is this reaching beyond not already indicated by the well-known phenomenon of corruption in real, existing socialist bureaucracies? The concept of need includes a reference to a natural moment, to what humans absolutely need to live: something to eat, clothing and protection against bad weather.
Even if, starting from these basic needs, further 'social' needs are stacked up on top in the course of 'democratic' disputation and conflict, such as the 'need' for education or for public transportation, the casting of human being on the basis of need and neediness remains in the dimension of moderation, of setting up a familiar, homely world. The suggestively 'natural' category of need is already questionable insofar as human needs are only such within the practices, customs, usages of social living.
From such customary usages as "second nature" Hegel arise the corresponding needs, and not conversely. The 'need' to eat fried locusts, whale meat or pork, for instance, or to dab on certain fragrances or wear certain kinds of robes or head-dress exists only in such societies that customarily practise the corresponding culinary or cosmetic usages. And when certain usages are cultivated as signs of social status, i.
Desire, in contrast to need, always includes an excessive, unbounding, disinhibiting element; it always overshoots what is moderate; it does not allow itself to be quenched by the satisfaction of needs and is to this extent voracious. Desire cannot be comprehended as stocked up on top of basic needs, as a kind of superstructure on the basis or foundation of more basic 'natural' needs, since the limits have always already been transcended in the desire of human being.
For desire, need is nothing, secondary, unimportant. Desire casts humans out of their habitual, quotidian ruts in taking care of daily concerns, and gives them a drive, no matter what the cost. With this, the motif of desire, of the uncanny unbounding of human being announces itself for the first time. It will occupy our attention further because it puts the Marxian casting of human being as need-having into question.
At this point, with regard to Heidegger, I first want to address the significance of this topic for the equipment analysis. Namely, it is no accident that in the equipment analysis, Heidegger speaks of simple tools such as the hammer and the self-evident for-the-sake-of Even though Heidegger develops a language in Being and Time that differs from that of metaphysics, Dasein's taking-care-of It is only for this reason that the equipment analysis and the use-value side of the Marxian commodity analysis so easily can be made consonant with each other. However, already in Being and Time , Heidegger signals very clearly a break with the casting of human being from the standpoint of need-satisfaction by declaring everyday taking-care-of Even though the distinction between authenticity and inauthenticity is hard to pin down, it can nevertheless be understood as an indication that even early on, Heidegger is concerned with an excessive element, that is to say, with a transcendent, ek-static, self-casting essence of the human, with the uncanny, unhomely relation of the human being to being itself which, as in the fundamental, uncanny mood of anxiety, tears human beings out of their habitual quotidian lives.
This is a point where one could demonstrate that from the very beginning, Heidegger had gone far beyond Marx, that the question of being bursts the somewhat complacent, modest casting of human being as needy once and for all and unmasks it as inadequate, as stiflingly conformist. But such an assessment would not take account of one major strand in the thinking of the late Marx, that is above all, the value-form problematic which to the present day has not been duly appreciated. With respect to the latter, namely, it can be shown that a phenomenality of desire, of excess - probably against Marx's own intentions, which aimed at guiding and tying back excess to social labour, i.
The question remains, what the critique of political economy really signifies, what it really aims at. Can the critique of political economy be translated unproblematically into a practical critique of existing social relations, i. Even if this were Marx's self-understanding, it can still be asked whether the critique of political economy reveals another inner tendency and admits another type of 'violent' reading that point to getting-over and twisting capitalism instead of overcoming it. If humans as purely needy beings become questionable and a desiring, more uncanny essence comes to occupy the position of human being, can an authentic needy human essence and an inauthentic, alienated human essence then still be distinguished from each other?
It still has to be investigated to what extent the conceptual pairs need-alienation on the one hand, and desire-fetishism on the other are counterposed respectively to each other. It can be shown, namely, that a desiring essence is already entangled with fetishism so deeply that it is no longer easy to gain a critical distance or an innocent ground of unalienated authenticity on which critique could pivot its leverage against an 'untrue' covered-up existing capitalist world.
Nevertheless there are passages in Marx that remove humans - on the back of money and capital - to more excessive regions in which it no longer suffices to talk of a simple, needy soul. According to the Marxian casting of communism, needs provide humans with their measure. The fulfilment of needs results in fulfilled human being. Social production is there to fulfil human needs. In this way, everything has its measure. Alienation only arises when the needs of the members of society are not fulfilled. Viewed in this way, Marx located freedom in the smoothly organized, social fulfilment of needs, in the realm of necessity that first has to be secured before a superfluous freedom can be lived out.
The first priority is that social production and need gratification be brought into harmony with each other so that each person receives his or her portion of social wealth in proportion to need. This harmony is upset by the immoderate moment that capital sets in motion, for as valorization of value, capital knows no limits to its circuitous, self-augmenting, accumulating movements. Everywhere on the globe, capital starts making surplus-value out of value. The augmentation of value is, from Marx's viewpoint, a bad infinity: insatiable, voracious hunger for surplus-value that brutally sucks everything that is into the self-augmenting movement of valorization.
These excessive, reified relations of production thus have to be abolished to allow humans with their modest needs to have a chance. But already the relation to money in simple circulation, i. The miser now steps onto the stage, a character mask well-known from time immemorial. Thus not an inhuman figure, but a desiring being who is not alien, but close to our essence. The movement of exchange-value as exchange-value, as an automaton, can only be that of surpassing its quantitative limit. By stepping beyond a quantitative limit of the hoard, however, a new barrier is created which in turn has to be overcome.
The limitlessness, the measurelessness of money already as demonstrated in On the Critique of Political Economy has its roots in simple circulation; it simply precedes the transformation into capital by a couple of steps, before money has gripped commerce and above all the production process and inverted them into pure, dynamic processes of value-augmentation.
Aristotelean ethics is an ethics of the proper, moderate measure. The principal virtues for the Greeks, manliness and prudence, both represent barriers against immoderation, i. At the other extreme, lust and the loss of control were the most contemptible of all failings, i. With money, a topic that occupied Marx philosophically his whole life long, measurelessness and immoderation invade the scene. A "reified social relation" penetrates into the human soul and turns it into a "money soul", a state of affairs which suggests that the distance between subject and object is uncomfortably small, that they are even entwined, coalesced with each other, since the object is able to contaminate the soul to such an extent.
Money and commodity fetishism do not stay at a distance, but fascinate the soul, incite its desire, ignite a fire in it, which can only happen because human being is always already transposed into the dimension of value-being and addressed, affected and challenged by this dimension. Money itself as exchange-value is reified social power, so that the desire for money is an expression par excellence of the human will to power.
If, as Jean-Joseph Goux has argued 8 , there is a close homology between money and the phallus as the unnameable object of desire, it will no longer be so easy to ban money and commodity fetishism as alien, alienated objectivity into a safe distance from the human being. On the contrary, money penetrates beneath the soul's skin and is grafted onto it. One does not need however any psychoanalytic theory of the phallus to grasp the driving, obsessive power of money to capture the soul. The relation of the soul to money is a relation of human being to value- being and thus a relation to being itself.
As something desired, money is not an object; it does not stand over against the human as subject, but is something revealed as valuable in its being, it sets people into motion - through the mediation of the movement of augmentation of value - in the striving for gain. There are also parallel passages to the above-cited passage in the Grundrissen and Capital , although in the latter, the lack of measure is dealt with in the context of the transformation of money into capital. With money, obsession enters history; humans are overcome by an impelling urge.
Humans understand money as money, i. In order to keep it as such, miserliness has to sacrifice any relation to objects of particular needs, renounce, in order to satisfy the need of the lust for money as such. The lust for money is not a need, but desire, and can therefore never be satisfied. Through money, impelling urge frees itself from any potential anchor in need and become excessive. It is not merely coincidental that in the transition from money to capital in Capital , Marx on the one hand brings the contrasting foil of need satisfaction into play and on the other, cites the Aristotelean measure with respect to the acquisition of money in order then to address value as underlying subject of an economy alienated from human being.
According to Marx, true human being is located on the side of use-value as opposed to exchange-value, which of itself impels human being into excess and makes an obsessive being out of humans. So is money to be got rid of as "the root of all evil" in favour of a consciously organized sociation of use-values and use-value production for the stake of total social need-fulfilment?
Would such a communist solution pacify human being? Simple commodity circulation - selling in order to buy - serves as a means for a final purpose outside circulation, the appropriation of use-values, the satisfaction of needs. As opposed to this , the circulation of money as capital is an end in itself, for valorization of value only exists within this permanently renewing movement. The movement of capital is therefore measureless, excessive.
The Critique of Cartesian Animal Machines
MEW; emphasis mine ME At this point - it would have scarcely been possible to have chosen it more precisely - Marx inserts his footnote on Aristotle. It is long and ties the critique of political economy back to Aristotelean ethics in a very precise way for thinking. Fundamental for the assessment of capital as measureless and excessive is the distinction between means and final purpose. Just as Heidegger sees and emphasizes that technology can in no way be considered as simply a means a telling homology , so Marx too sees that money in its being is not exhausted as a means, as being-good-for In On the Critique In Capital , by contrast, under the heading of hoard formation, the references to excess are not as emphatic, even though one can still read: "the impelling urge to build up a hoard is by its nature excessive, without measure.
Qualitatively, or according to its form, money has no limit" MEW ; the references to lust, etc. There, the valorization of value becomes "the sole driving motive" MEW of the capitalist's "operations"; only to this extent is he capitalist, "personified capital endowed with will and consciousness" MEW Use-value serves once again as back-ground in order from there to make the leap into quasi-endlessness: "Use-value is thus never to be treated as the immediate aim of the capitalist.
Does Marx simply take sides with the modest, needy proletariat against the excessive, obsessive capitalist class? Is a will to power in the shape of exchange-value as the object of desire foreign to workers' being? In this context, Marx calls to mind the Aristotelean distinction between chrematistics the art of acquiring wealth and economics the art of administering a household. The latter knows its limits, it "restricts itself to procuring the useful goods necessary for living and for the household or the state.
There is however a second art of acquisition which is preferably and rightly called chrematistics as a consequence of which there seems to be no limit to wealth and property. Capitalism must therefore also be viewed as an excessive overstepping of Aristotelean limits. Value as "automatic subject" MEW represents an alienation and removal from the true basis of need and its satisfaction in moderation. This automaton, however, is able to arouse the capitalist's passion - whereby anybody at all can put on the character mask of the capitalist - so that he succumbs to the "pursuit" of money, a pursuit that tears down every barrier of moderation and thus violates any Aristotelean ethics of adequate measure.
Marx's casting of human being as needy thus has an essentially Aristotelean origin and is rooted firmly in the metaphysical, ethical tradition. Humans themselves, however, in their limitless obsessiveness, are not shown their limits so that they would have to curb themselves, but limitlessness is projected onto an anonymous, reified automaton, value, as the subject of valorization. A Feuerbachian projection, but this time not the anthropomorphic projection of religious ideas onto a god in heaven, but a projection of human obsessiveness and human desire onto a thing: money.
But what if this thing belonged to our essence, if our souls were always already greedy money souls, immoderate and excessive 'by nature', if we human beings were 'originarily' animated and driven by a will to power? What if we were in our essence not moderately needy, but irrevocably desirous and that by virtue of the circumstance that the value-being of exchangeable things, and money in particular, is always already revealed to human being? In this case, at least, Marx's formula for communism in his critique of the Gotha program would be untenable: "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs!
The seed of power in abilities is thereby overlooked. In the Marxian casting of socialism, "labour-time serves simultaneously as the measure of the producer's individual share of total labour and therefore also of the individually consumable portion of the common product" MEW In socialism, since an individual's labour-time is always finite and measurable, the measure is supposed to prevent the measureless excess of an unequal distribution of the social product under socialism, which is, however, the case under capitalism. The first measure for a socialist society would be the "necessary labour-time for society in general and each section of society i.
Capital and Technology: Marx and Heidegger (Michael Eldred)
For real wealth is the developed productive force of all individuals. It is then no longer labour-time, but disposable time which serves as the measure of wealth. This measure is thus without measure, opening the gate for excessive desire. Under capitalism, by contrast, the superfluous time set free by increases in productivity serves only to make the capitalist wealthier, since it forms the basis for augmenting surplus-value production. The surplus flows back ceaselessly into the measureless maw of the valorization of value. And what is supposed to happen in socialism? To posit the measure of freely disposable time is an empty determination lacking an inner measure.
Beyond needs, humans remain measureless, excessive beings animated by a will to power if only to have their abilities estimated, esteemed, rewarded, appreciated, a state of affairs to which Marx's casting of socialism provides no answer. What are free humans supposed to do with their "disposable time", supposing that this excess time is not merely to be channeled into leisure time activities? Whence are humans to take their measure, if not from the necessity of needs? By what is human being to be held in bounds when necessary labour-time as measure becomes smaller and smaller through measureless increases in productivity?
Under capitalism, surplus labour-time is channeled back as accumulated capital into the endless circuit of self-valorizing value. Capital thus bloats itself endlessly and can be conceived of as the will to surplus-value, a reified will that overcomes humans like a destiny and draws them irresistibly under its spell.
Socialism as the endless increase of the productive forces thus shows itself to be likewise without a measure, since the fulfilment of needs tendentially approaches zero. Where then do humans as needy beings remain? Do not new needs arise endlessly in relation to the increase of the productive forces, thus sliding in the direction of desire emerging from ever new, pleasurable social usages?
Could there be a point at which society would cease to increase the productive forces further? Obviously not, as long as human being is determined as inhabiting the realm of freedom that starts beyond the realm of need. Marx's thinking remains critique, i. Marx is concerned with the overcoming, abolition, destruction of fetters which capitalism puts on the development of the productive forces, so that the working class can come to enjoy the fruits of this development.
Positively, however, it remains unclarified in Marx, through what agency and to what reference-point the measurelessness of human being is to be made to submit, if, as we have seen, it cannot be maintained that human being is exhaustively determined by neediness. This is a deficit of Marxian thinking, that it remains a negative movement. On the one hand, it posits human being in labour: humans as labourers, as producers of their own social living conditions; on the other hand however, it equally casts a liberation of human being from a determination through labour by demanding that the development of the productive forces should benefit labouring humans by setting them free from labour.
But what are humans supposed to do when they are not working? By many of those who were looking for a sophisticated Marxist philosophy, History and Class Consciousness was judged to be a supremely important book as for example by Karl Korsch and Ernst Bloch, see Bloch The party orthodoxy, however, was not quite so enamored. In Germany and Hungary, party intellectuals such as Hermann Duncker and Laszlo Rudas disapproved of the book because of its idealist tendencies, culminating in its condemnation by Grigory Zinoviev in his opening address to the June World Congress of the Third International Arato and Breines This conception imports moments that are alien to a Marxist view of history into his theory even on a non-orthodox reading of Marx.
He admits, however, that the notion of totality as the product of a collective subject, as he developed it in , needed to be modified in order to remedy these problems. Instead, he tackled the philosophical foundations of these problems in the context of a new reading of the philosophical tradition, and especially of Hegel. His writings on Hegel, most prominently The Young Hegel and the relevant sections in the Ontology of Social Being , can be read as a defense of this commitment. Hegel, however, subordinates this objectivist ontology to logic in the course of the development of his system.
Hegel sees externalization that is, the fact that the objects of our labor and the institutions of society are independent of our consciousness not as a deficiency, but rather as a necessary stage in the development of self-consciousness. On this view, the externalization of the social is not problematic in itself.
Rather, it is alienation the causes of which Marx uncovered that should be the object of the critique of reification see also Pitkin This distinction entails the possibility of a critique of reification that does not require a complete reappropriation of objective social forms by a collective subject.
This ontology is intended, at least outwardly, to be a faithful interpretation of the ontological implications of Marxism. All three levels are distinguished by a division between the genuine essence of entities and their appearance. While on all three levels, entities appear as fixed objects, their real essence is always that of interrelated, irreversible processes GW This entails that the basic form of all being is temporality and historicity GW By choosing one of the potential results of the employment of their natural and technological capacities as the correct one, individuals can create a distinction between successful and unsuccessful execution of their intended actions in labor.
Consequently, over time, the social becomes more and more determined by its own history, rather than by nature alone b: From these ontological commitments, it follows that the existence of the social totality depends on the intentionality which guides individual acts of labor and vice versa see Tertullian This understanding of institutions entails that politics, as a form of action directed towards the social totality as a whole, must treat this totality, on the one hand, as being dependent on natural and biological facts that limit its potential transformations and, on the other hand, as increasingly being determined by laws of its own GW The overcoming of alienation thus always demands—along with social changes—subjective transformation, i.
This finally points towards the ethical dimension of the Ontology. Compared with History and Class Consciousness , the normative ideal of the Ontology points to a radically different conception of political action. In the Ontology , it is not the self-realization of the collective subject-object in history that is the defining moment of revolutionary politics, but rather the gradual realization of the universal nature of humans in their interaction with society and nature.
Like science and ethics, art breaks with the immediacy of our everyday practical engagements that dominates the more common forms of reflection GW , Second, while science is always conceptually mediated, art breaks with the immediacy of everyday life in favor of a new immediacy of experience GW , , For this reason, such works of art allow us to comprehend the universal aspects of our existence and to consciously participate in the collective life of humanity GW — Even though they represent objective reality, works of art are, in virtue of this mode of reflection, subject-dependent because their character is constituted by their capacity to evoke a subjective reaction: i.
This reaction is not only one of passive acknowledgment; it also actively transforms the subject by facilitating a consciousness of that very universal nature. Thus, in the work of art, subjectivity and objectivity are mutually constitutive for each other. The most important concept binding these premises together is the idea of mimesis. Through the mimetic imitation of natural processes, humans acquire the ability to represent the salient aspects of the world in a closed and totalizing manner, and they gradually learn to separate such imitations from the necessity of immediate reaction.
In contrast to magic which does not separate reflection and objective causation, mimesis in art is consciously taken as a reflection and evokes the aesthetic effect in its audience specifically in virtue of this feature GW In other words, while both art and science overcome the superstition of magic, only art can retain the mimetic dimension of representation. First, he had endorsed an optimism concerning the capacity of the proletariat to constitute such a totality in society through a revolutionary overcoming of reification; later on, this optimism was modified to encompass the ever increasing human capacities to become self-conscious of their universal character through a reflection of the existing social totality in the totality of the work of art.
The most accessible collection is the incomplete German edition of his works:. English translations are cited where available. If no translation is available, Gesammelte Werke are cited. In the remaining cases, the original publication is cited. Sources are listed by original publication date. Biographical Notes 2.
Early Aesthetic Writings 2. History and Class Consciousness 3. Bostock trans. Kadarkay ed. Livingstone ed. Livingstone trans. Leslie trans. Sziklai ed. Leitch ed. Fernbach trans. Jameson ed. Arato, A. Aronowitz, S. Thompson ed. Bernstein, J. Bewes, T. Bloch, E. Brecht, B. Braunstein, D. Butler, J. Sanders, and K. Terezakis eds.