Evald Ilyenkov 1960

Dialectics of the Abstract & the Concrete
in Marx’s Capital

Written: 1960;
Source: The Dialectics of the Abstract and the Concrete in Marx’s Capital;
Publisher: Progress Publishers, 1982;
Translated: English translation 1982 by Sergei Kuzyakov;
Transcribed: Andy Blunden;
HTML Markup: Andy Blunden.

Chapter 1: Dialectical & Metaphysical Conception of the Concrete

Conception of the Abstract & the Concrete in Dialectics and in Formal Logic
From the History of the Concepts of the Abstract and the Concrete
The Definition of the Concrete in Marx
On the Relation of the Notion to the Concept
The Concept of Man and Some Conclusions from its Analysis
The Concrete and the Dialectics of the Universal and the Individual
Concrete Unity as Unity of Opposites

Chapter 2 - The Unity of the Abstract & the Concrete as a Law of Thought

The Abstract as an Expression of the Concrete
The Dialectical & the Eclectic-Empirical Conception of Comprehensive Consideration
Spiral-Like Character of Development of Reality & its Theoretical Reflection
Scientific Abstraction (Concept) & Practice

Chapter 3 - Ascent from the Abstract to the Concrete

On the Formulation of the Question
Hegel’s Conception of the Concrete
Marx’s View of the Development of Scientific Cognition
Materialist Substantiation of Ascent from Abstract to Concrete in Marx
Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Locke and Spinoza on Political Economy
Deduction and the Problem of Historicism

Chapter 4 - Logical Development and Concrete Historicism

On the Difference Between the Logical and the Historical Methods of Inquiry
Logical Development as Expression of Concrete Historicism in Investigation
Abstract and Concrete Historicism

Chapter 5 - The Method of Ascent from the Abstract to the Concrete in Marx’s Capital

Concrete Fullness of Abstraction and Analysis as a Condition of Theoretical Synthesis
Contradiction as the Condition of Development of Science
Contradictions of Labour Theory of Value and their Dialectical Resolution in Marx
Conradiction as a Principle of Development of Theory

“If I were to begin with the population, this would be a chaotic conception of the whole, and I would then, by means of further determination, move analytically towards ever more simple concepts, from the imagined concrete towards ever thinner abstractions until I had arrived at the simplest determinations. From there the journey would have to be retraced until I had arrived at the population again, but this time not as the chaotic conception of a whole, but as a rich totality of many determinations and relations.” Marx

Glossary References:

Abstract & Concrete | Dialectics | Unity of Opposites | Contradiction

Further reading:

Review of Critique of Political Economy, Engels 1859 | Method of Political Economy, Marx 1857 | Chapter One of Capital, Marx 1867 | Afterword to Second German Edition of Capital, Marx 1873 | Marx’s Grundrisse and Hegel’s Logic, Hiroshi Uchida | Marx at the Millennium, Cyril Smith | Marx’s Capital - Philosophy and Political Economy, Geoff Pilling | Marx's Theory of Alienation, Istvan Meszaros | Logic of Marx’s Capital, Tony Smith