The Logic of Marx's Capital

Replies to Hegelian Criticisms

By Tony Smith

Subjects: Philosophy Of The Social Sciences
Series: SUNY series in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Paperback : 9780791402689, 284 pages, July 1990
Hardcover : 9780791402672, 284 pages, July 1990

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Table of contents


Part One Philosophical Foundations

Chapter I: Hegel: Method and System

A. Hegel's Dialectical Method

B. Dialectical Logic and Materialist Ontology

C. System

Chapter II: Dialectical Logic in Marx's Work

A. Indirect Arguments for Reading "Capital" in Terms of Hegelian Dialectical Logic

B. Direct Arguments for Reading "Capital" in Terms of Dialectical Logic

Postscript: Marx's Materialism and Hegel's Idealism

Chapter III: Hegelian Readings of "Capital"

A. Alternative Readings of "Capital" as a Dialectical Theory

B. The Main Hegelian Objections to "Capital"

Part Two The Systematic Ordering

Chapter IV: The Value Form

A. A Standard Reading of The First Sections of "Capital"

B. Hegelian Objections to The Initial Categories in "Capital"

C. An Alternative Reading

D. Responses to the Hegelian Objections

Chapter V: The Simple Commodity Form and the Money Form

A. The Simple Commodity Form

B. The Dialectic of The Money Form

C. Closing Remarks

Chapter VI: The Initial Determinations of the Capital Form: Labor Power as Commodity, Exploitation

A. The Capital Form, Capital in Production, and Labor Power as Commodity

B. Exploitation

Chapter VII: Categories of the Production Process Proper

A. Simple Cooperation and Capital as Principle of Organization

B. Capital as Principle of Transformation

C. Accumulation

D. Excursus: Capital and Independent Producers

E. Conclusion

Chapter VIII: The Categories of Circulation

A. The Transition to Capital in Difference

B. The Dialectic of Capital in Difference

C. Hegelian Objections and Replies to The Objections

Chapter IX: The Categories of Concretion

A. The Dialectic of Industrial Capital

B. The Dialectic of Supply and Demand

C. The Falling Rate of Profit

D. The Dialectic of Nonindustrial Capital

E. Evaluation of The Final Stages of The Capital Form

Chapter X: Conclusion

A. Value Theory and Its Alternatives

B. The State Form

C. The Socialist Form of Social Production

Appendix: A Table of the Categories in Capital





Beginning with "value" and "commodity" at the start of Volume I in Marx's major work, and progressing step-by-step to the end of Volume III, Smith establishes in detail that Capital is a systematic theory of socio-economic categories ordered according to dialectical logic. At each stage in his analysis of the theory Smith makes Marx's arguments more accessible. He also considers in depth the objections to Marx's employment of dialectical logic that have been formulated by Hegelians (especially those presented in Klaus Hartmann's Die Marxsche Theorie). Smith presents a persuasive case against this whole range of Marx criticisms, many of which have also been proposed from non-Hegelian standpoints.

Tony Smith is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Iowa State University of Science and Technology.


"Tony Smith has now written a book that conclusively demonstrates that Marx's commitment to Hegelian dialectic is much more thoroughgoing, fundamental, and central to Marx's thought than anyone had previously seen. He has done a brilliant job in demonstrating the Hegelian dialectical logic that structures Capital. No one had ever worked this out in such detail, with such rigor, and with such convincing arguments. This is thus a scholarly achievement of the highest order: Smith has produced a highly original, extremely well-written and argued, and important work that is sure to be cited and debated for decades to come." — Douglas Kellner, University of Texas at Austin

"I am most impressed by its originality and systematic character. There is nothing in the literature on Marxism that is anything like it, and responding in such detail to Hegelian criticisms proves to be a wonderfully enlightening approach to a lot that has been unclear about Marxism, especially its exposition. For anyone interested in Marxism, especially his dialectical method and economic theories, the book is extremely significant." — Bertell Ollman, New York University