restricted access Logic and Reality in the Philosophy of John Stuart Mill (review)
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BOOK REVIEWS 145 methodological writings, especially in the Grundrisse, and his scientific practice as it is displayed in the first four chapters of Capital. Here we find that, despite his debt to Hegel regarding the method of immanent dialectical critique, Marx moves well beyond Hegel with an "empiricism of second intension," i.e., a dialectical approach that develops the logical categories of political economy a posteriori out of the subject matter at hand. Moreover, we discover that in contrast to Hegel's attempt to make the science of knowledge presuppositionless, which results in a formalism that reduces concrete categories to abstract ones, Marx "returns to epistemology" in taking the distinction between subject and object of knowledge seriously, and thereby gets back to the logic of the things themselves. Also, in contrast to Hegel's and the classical political economists' confusing of general with determinate abstractions, Marx keeps the two distinct (e.g., the abstract category of labor vs. the concept of abstract labor, the abstraction 'capital' vs. the abstraction 'instrument of production') and thus avoids the "naturalizing" of the capitalist mode of production. Finally, Marx takes Hegel's critique of the Verstand model of essence and appearance and applies it to a critique of political economy, and ultimately to Hegel himself, who turns out to be the "consumate philosopher of capital " (212). The author then examines the philosophical underpinnings of Marx's critique as it applies to the concepts of commodity, money, value, and capital. This book is very well thought out and does much to shed light on the theological, political, and philosophical significance of Marx's theory of scientific knowledge. Murray seems to be correct in concluding that Marx's theory is distinctive in the way it attempts to reconcile reason and actuality, 'ought' and 'is', and theory and practice, through immanent nonformalistic critique. However, whether Marx succeeds in this project is less clear, and here the author tends to be somewhat uncritical in his assessment . In particular, he leaves unquestioned Marx's claim that Hegel confused objectivity with alienation, a claim which is crucial to the larger thesis that the logic of capital is identical with the logic of Hegel's absolute idealism. Also, Murray fails to consider that Marx's epistemological "naturalism" might not be more than a dogma that simply disposes of, rather than solves, the traditional problem of the relation of knowledge to its object. Despite this, the book is stimulating and certain to provoke vigorous discussion among Marx and Hegel scholars. DAVID A. DUQUETTE St. NorbertCollege Geoffrey Scarre, Logic and Reality in the PhilosophyofJohn Stuart Mill. Synthese Historical Library. Texts and Studies in the History of Logic and Philosophy, Vol. 34. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989. Pp. ~42. DFL 195. Scarre's wide-ranging yet concise and analytical study makes an important contribution to Mill scholarship. For one thing, it will oblige its readers to reconsider the orthodoxy that associationist psychology is fundamental to Mill's philosophical positions . Scarre holds that the importance of associationism in Mill's philosophy has often been overrated, and identifies as of greater significance "the relativity doctrine" that 146 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 29:1 JANUARY 1991 sensation is not only the sole path to knowledge but is its sole object. "Idealism is, indeed, the inevitable consequence of Mill's relativity principle" (9 lo), according to the author, but he finds that Mill is also drawn towards an immaterialist position which presupposes an objective spatio-temporal framework external to the mind, a framework within which things exist as permanent possibilities of sensation, not as material objects. Neither Mill's radical idealism nor his immaterialist halfway house to it denies that there appear to be material objects, and Scarre makes surprising headway with a Kantian proposal that Mill is best read as defending idealism at the transcendental level and realism at the empirical level. "Unfortunately, this attractive reconciling suggestion will not work," the author concludes, because in his philosophy of logic Mill is too heavily committed to the antipsychologistic, realist notion of a "gulf" between what makes a statement true and that by which we apprehend its truth (218, 1o7); the combination of empirical realism and transcendental...