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The marginalization of Marxism in academia



By Raju J Das

February 5, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — There are several aspects of dialectical thinking. One is totality: different ‘things’ and different relations and processes inter-connect to produce a whole, a totality. The totality shapes the parts that make the totality. Bukharin, among others, emphasized this idea. Another aspect of dialectical thinking is the idea of conflict/contradiction or the inter-penetration of opposites. Lenin stressed this idea. The third is the law of the transformation of quantity into quality and vice versa, an idea that Trotsky regularly underlined.[i]

Let us consider the third aspect of dialectical thinking. There is a difference between some amount of salt and zero amount of salt. There is a difference between a limited amount of salt and a significant amount of salt. When the amount/quantity of a thing gets reduced below a level or when it is increased above a level, then that thing itself does not exist or almost ceases to exist (it loses its essence[ii]). For example, when the temperature of water is so low that it is below zero, it is not water anymore. And when it is above 100 degrees, it is not water either.

Marx, naturalism, anachronism and the disenchantment of nature



By Blair Vidakovich


April 30, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — A key debate that is occurring in analytic philosophy at the moment is whether to agree to the popularly-accepted conception of naturalism. Naturalism, in its orthodox and popular version, forces us to accept an austere and disenchanted picture of the universe and the place of humans in it. Normativity, on this conception, is not a part of the universe at all. There are versions of austere naturalism (‘bald’ naturalism, as John McDowell puts it)[1] that admit of epistemic normativity—the position that if some epistemic fact is true, then we ought to believe it—but these are really no different in kind.


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