[OPE-L:1185] Re: The Material World

From: Jurriaan Bendien (djjb99@worldonline.nl)
Date: Sat Sep 11 1999 - 10:31:25 EDT

Jerry writes:

>Somehow the alleged dichotomy between "material" and "physical" itself
>strikes me as somewhat metaphysical ... or in the case of "physicalist"
>interpretations, somewhat "vulgar materialist".

I do not think we should dichotomise material and physical. Marx's
distinction is between material and spiritual/mental/ideological, between
the production of ideas and the production of tangible things (in which you
may include services which involve transformation of the physical world as
their main purpose). Some philological work has been done on Marx's concept
of the "material" for instance by some French scholars like Labica and
Rubel, but Marx has no consistent usage of the adjective. Sometimes what
he means by "material" is "external", or "externalised", or "objective".
Sometimes he means "tangible", "physical", "practical", "concrete" etc.



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