Sunday, August 27, 2017

CHARLES Fourier’s ‘‘‘Serialism’’’ -- ¿Precursor/Anticipation of the Seldonian Dialectic?

CHARLES Fouriers ‘‘‘Series-ism’’’ -- ¿Precursor/Anticipation of the Seldonian Dialectic?

Dear Readers,

FYI:  A passage from a new, 2017 book on Marx’s «Das Kapital» has “caught the eye” of the Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica [F.E.D.] research community, with a passage on its page 36.

This passage intimates the existence of a Fourierist, and Proudhonist, ‘serial laws’ anticipation of the Seldonian Dialectic, one that may have also influenced Marx in his ‘‘‘systematic-dialectical’’’ construction of «Das Kapital».

More specifically, this passage intimates that the Fourierist and Proudhonist concepts of ‘serial laws’ may have anticipated the multi-categorial, poly-qualinomial series qualitative superpositionings’ [“superpositions” or “sums” of qualitatively differing terms -- not of purely quantitative terms, as per JOSEPH Fourier’s famous series], or non-amalgamative sums -- i.e., the multi-ontic cumula -- of ontological-category-representing symbols, as generated by a ‘‘‘Seldon Function’’’ -- i.e., by a self-reflexive function of an «arché» ontological category.

I have reproduced this whole passage, including its footnotes, below.

Elements of the F.E.D. research community are now seeking to corroborate, or to falsify, the claims of this passage.

The book is:  Marx’s Inferno:  The Political Theory of Capital, by William Clare Roberts, Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 2017.

The findings of the F.E.D. research on the claims of this passage -- one way or another -- are likely to influence the further development of the content of the methodology page --

Dialogically Yours,

Miguel Detonacciones,

Member, Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica [F.E.D.],
Officer, F.E.D. Office of Public Liaison.

[pp. 36-37:]  There are in Proudhon’s writings of the 1840s numerous invocations of the promise of an economic science that would reveal the tendency toward order in human society and catalyze the development of that order.60

“In Qu’est-ce que la propriété? he summed up this prospective development by coining a phrase that would have a long life as another socialist myth:  “the sovereignty of the will gives way to the sovereignty of reason and ends up being replaced by a scientific socialism.”61 

“Proudhon’s notion of this incipient social science was heavily indebted to Charles Fourier’s conception of the “series,”62 the sum of an ordered succession of elements.63

The underlying idea is that the successivestagesorperiods” (époques) of history exhibit, in turn, successive principles, and that only at the end of the series will these opposed principles come into a harmonious interrelation.” [Emphases added by M.D.].

“As Proudhon put it, “while in nature the synthesis of contraries is contemporaneous with their opposition, in society the antithetic elements seem to be produced at long intervals, and to be resolved only after long and tumultuous agitation.”64

     “Because science is supposed to grasp the series, it must proceed through the elements of the series in turn, showing how any partial summation of the series, including any element on its own, is self-contradictory and inadequate from the point of view of justice.”

“Hence, science, in Proudhon’s sense must proceed methodically, following a determinate path, and may be said to pass from appearances -- the partial aspects of the world presented by each époque -- to the reality of the whole series.”

“As Proudhon put it, “to explain the system of the world, . . . one must leave the circle of appearances.”65

“This was the task Proudhon tried to accomplish in his Système. 

60For examples, see What Is Property?, 17-20, 208-11; OC Oeuvres Complètes»; the Complete Works of Proudhon], 4:136-41, 338-42; System [System of Economical Contradictions:  Or, the Philosophy of Poverty.], 1:44, 55, 388-97; OC, 1:66, 75, 337-44; OC, 5:80-100, 405-51.”

61What Is Property?, 208-9; OC, 4:339.”

62Coincidentally, there were two Fouriers obsessed with series:  Charles, and the mathematician Joseph.  Victor Hugo, in Les Misèrables, wrote that “There was a celebrated Fourier, at the Academy of Science, whom posterity has forgotten; and in some garret an obscure Fourier, whom the future will recall” (I.III.1).  This prediction has turned out to be very nearly the opposite of the truth, as the Fourier series is integral to mathematics [and to contemporary physics -- M.D.] while the other series, and the other Fourier, if not forgotten, certainly have no import in the social sciences [the latter being, at least in part, a critique of the contemporary, ruling class ideologically-engineered, so-called “social” “sciences”, i.e., the capitalist ideologies of ‘linearoid’, ‘individualoid’ atomism, reflecting the profound mutual alienation among selves, and the self-alienation, that vitiates sociality, and human solidarity, in the modern, capitalist époque -- M.D.].”   

63Hoffman, Revolutionary Justice, 106-9; Crowder, Classical Anarchism, 112.”

64System, 1:129-30; OC, 1:135; compare What Is Property?, 19; OC, 4:19.”

65What Is Property?, 18; OC, 4:138.  Proudhon’s self-conception as a scientist has not aged well.  Even scholars very friendly to Proudhon, claim, e.g., that Proudhon’s “‘synthesis’ is quite artificial, claiming that it integrates without really doing so.” (Hoffman, Revolutionary Justice, 109).  Indeed, Proudhon himself may have been dissatisfied with this pretense for he largely dropped his claims to science after the disappointing reception of De la creation de l’ordre and Système des contradictions (Crowder, Classical Anarchism, 112).  There was, however, no point at which Proudhon either gave up his notion of historical development or his valorization of science as the outcome of that historical development.

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