The Left, The Public, was Re: Ideology....

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Tue May 29 11:17:20 PDT 2001

>>> cbcox at 05/28/01 06:23PM >>>

Charles Brown wrote:
> >>> kelley at 05/25/01 12:32PM >>>
> At 09:55 AM 5/25/01 -0500, Carrol Cox wrote:
> > That is, SUV drivers do
> >not constitute a unified category about which general statements can
> >legitimately be made.
> neither does the category "woman" or "women" as many astute feminists have
> pointed out in the past 20 years.
> ((((((((
> CB: Sounds like maybe the category "category" is not a category neither.

A complete nominalism, towards which both Kelley and Charles move here, dissolves thought in general and marxist thought in particular. The denial of "woman" as a catetgory was not, shall we say, categorical: it denied (as I would) a realist conception of "woman" as an essence existing prior to and independently of the particulars in which it manifested itself. It also denied various culturally determined conceptions of women (naturally care-giving, etc.), but in so far as those feminists actually denied any kind of historical reality to "woman" they were not so astute, since, for example, they would by that deny Title IX of the Civil Rights Act.

Ockham's razor insists that we not multiply entities (categories) beyond necessity; it need not be interpreted as denying all categories. The proletariat is not a Platonic form but a historical process, but for all that still a rather important category to cling to.


CB: Just kidding.

As to whether SUV drivers constitute a general category for some purposes of radical struggle is an empirical question, and cannot be established based upon mere assertion.

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