For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Mistranslations of “Schein” and “Erscheinung”: The Structure of Chapter 1 of Capital, Volume I"

by Hanzel, Igor (2010)


The argument of Marx's Capital, Volume I, chapter 1, has a complex structure, which can best be understood if three dimensions are distinguished: the epistemic, sociological, and politico-economic. Concerning the epistemic dimension, Marx's views are often misunderstood due to neglect of the differentiation between the categories appearance and manifestation, as can be seen in the works of C. J. Arthur and P. Murray. Ben Fowkes' English translation of Capital is, in this respect, not precise enough and, at times, even highly misleading, as can be seen by comparing it to the second MEGA (MEGA2) edition. Removing these confusions reveals Marx's value theory to be profoundly scientific and of great current importance, especially when it is seen that Marx advances beyond the category structure in Hegel in crucial ways, and that his theory requires clear distinction and re-integration of both quantitative and qualitative aspects, and of both sociological and political-economic dimensions of labor, at each stage ? appearance, essence, manifestation ? in the development of the value dialectic.


Marx, Marxism, Political Economy, Abstract Labour, Schein, Erscheinung, Dialectic, Value Theory, Translation, Hegel, Essence, Sociology, Scientific Knowledge


On Marx on Abstract Labour

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