• Terrapin Station
    8.5k
    Is Smith primarily studied as part of economics or philosophy? And Ricardo? Your loaded question wasn't even the beginning of an answer.Benkei

    Smith is studied some in philosophy, but he's not generally a big focus. Ricardo, again, I'm not familiar with.

    I've read Marx--because my educational background includes philosophy degrees.

    So are you aware that Marx is primarily studied via philosophy departments? If you disagree that he is, that's fine. That could be your answer, and then we'll go from there.
  • Benkei
    1.9k
    I've been primarily interested in his labour theory of value, as a continuation from the works of Smith and Ricardo which is more economics than history. At least, since 2018 hist economic theory is gaining much more interest at the academic level.

    His historical materialism isn't my strong point at all but it was widely studied in the history department of Leiden university as some of the students I was living with studied Marx extensively. From what I picked up, Marx attempted to get to something regulated by "laws" or principles in order to predict and describe specific socio-economic outcomes but still depending on the actual historic context. I think however, he was quite aware of the limitations of his methodology which might explain his reluctance in stating universal truths. I don't think that's an attempt to formulate a scientific theory but perhaps more a categorisation of facts to have an understanding of historical development. Much like how histoire totale is also an exhaustive and exhausting method of describing historical developments. They both have their uses in understanding history and Marx had a specific interest in understanding economic history hence the aspects included in his methodology.

    But I digress, I'll just say what I said before:
    The qualification, however, is neither here nor there as it tells us nothing of the value (not necessarily utilitarian value either) of social sciences but it often used as a value judgment of social sciences.Benkei
  • tim wood
    2.2k
    I think the most important thing to take away from Marx is that the state mode of production means a) state owner ship of the means of production b) wage labour c) increased mechanisation of the means of production and d) value extraction from the labourer to the state.Benkei

    As you can see, I've edited your post. Question: is this as good a description of communism as the original was of capitalism?
  • Benkei
    1.9k
    No, it isn't. Also, this thread isn't about communism.
  • ssu
    1.1k
    was just wondering whether politics can ever be aa rigorous as science. Why can't politics be a science? Is it because it's too complex or is the subject itself an unscientific one?TheMadFool
    What we can do is apply scientific methods in the study of politics. This can be simply using statistics or sometimes more advanced models. First and foremost, we can start from the study of history, and try to get the picture of what has happened as correct as possible. Even that is very important to us.

    In a way, politics or any social science is inherently different from natural sciences. We can see just how different things come to be in physics when a measurement effects on what is measured. There is a similar issue with the study of societies and people in societies: every historian understand that every moment in time, would it be now, the start of the 20th Century or middle of the 14th Century or whatever, is unique compared to other times. And nothing is as difficult for science as something being unique.

    And lastly, the difficulties in social sciences don't make them less important or less advanced... as if telling something with a mathematical formula is somehow better than telling it in English. English is too a very useful language to portray reality.
  • TheMadFool
    3.1k
    What we can do is apply scientific methods in the study of politics. This can be simply using statistics or sometimes more advanced models. First and foremost, we can start from the study of history, and try to get the picture of what has happened as correct as possible. Even that is very important to us.

    In a way, politics or any social science is inherently different from natural sciences. We can see just how different things come to be in physics when a measurement effects on what is measured. There is a similar issue with the study of societies and people in societies: every historian understand that every moment in time, would it be now, the start of the 20th Century or middle of the 14th Century or whatever, is unique compared to other times. And nothing is as difficult for science as something being unique.

    And lastly, the difficulties in social sciences don't make them less important or less advanced... as if telling something with a mathematical formula is somehow better than telling it in English. English is too a very useful language to portray reality.
    ssu

    The history of politics is an experiment in governance. Autocracy, oligarchy have failed. Democracy has prevailed and communism has had to morph into pseudo-communism as in China.
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