Marx develops his economic theory in Capital in a rather peculiar way. This paper focuses on some of these peculiarities, especially his attempt to base his account of prices and derivative entities (profit, rate of profit, etc.) on the labour theory of value. Although he may be said to have failed in this, there is still some kind of Marxist theory of prices possible. This is due to both, the so-called fundamental theorem (linking profit and surplus-value) and the possibility, shown (...) by Sraffa and others, to determine prices from the physical parameters of production. By adding on an earlier paper of mine, in which the surplus-value theory has been reconstructed within the structuralistic framework, this paper sketches such a reconstruction for the basic parts of a full-blown Marxist economic theory of capitalistic production. (shrink)
Contingencies in Nature may be explained, but such explanations refer to other contingencies (pt. I). Is there a way to “explain away” all contingencies? The first physical theory of modern times, Newton’s theory of gravitation, was received in a way that leaves this question open (pt. II), while Kepler’s theory of cosmological harmony arrived at a positive solution (pt. III). However, later developments in science outdated Kepler’s approach (pt. IV).