Is Marx's Theory of Profit Right?

Is Marx's Theory of Profit Right? : The Simultaneist-Temporalist Debate

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This collection focuses on a long-running debate over the logical validity of Karl Marx's theory that exploitation is the exclusive source of capitalists' profits. The "Fundamental Marxian Theorem" was long thought to have shown that orthodox Marxian economics succeeds in replicating Marx's conclusion. The debate begins with Andrew Kliman's disproof of that claim. On one side of the debate, representing orthodox Marxian economics, are contributions by Simon Mohun and Roberto Veneziani. Although they concede that their simultaneist models cannot replicate Marx's theory of profit in all cases, they insist that this is as good as it gets. On the other side, representing the temporal single-system interpretation of Marx's theory (TSSI), are contributions by Kliman and Alan Freeman. They argue that his theory is logically valid, since it can indeed be replicated when it is understood in accordance with the TSSI. While the debate initially focused on logical concerns, issues of pluralism, truth, and scientificity increasingly assumed center stage. In his introduction to the volume, Nick Potts situates the debate in its historical context and argues forcefully that the arguments of the orthodox Marxist economists, and the manner in which those arguments were couched, were "suppressive and contrary to scientific norms." The volume concludes with a 2014 debate, in which many of the same issues re-surfaced, between the philosopher Robert Paul Wolff and proponents of the TSSI.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 194 pages
  • 160 x 237 x 24mm | 439.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 9 tables
  • 0739196316
  • 9780739196311
  • 1,482,665

About Nick Potts

Nick Potts is professor of economics at Southampton Solent University in the United Kingdom. Andrew Kliman is professor emeritus of economics at Pace University in New York and editor of the Lexington Books series Heterodox Studies in the Critique of Political Economy.show more

Review quote

Is Marx's Theory of Profit Right provides a revealing insight into the way in which the debate between leading TSSI proponents and some of their principal critics has been conducted since the start of this century... The collection will most likely leave the reader quite impressed with the serious attitude of its TSSI-adherent editors, Nick Potts and Andrew Kliman, for republishing their opponents' articles, allowing the reader to accurately form her or his own opinion... Is Marx's Theory of Profit Right serves two equally important purposes: not only does it allow the skeptical reader to verify with her or his own eyes the utter inability of the TSSI's critics - thus far - to provide its proponents with an adequate response. It also stands as valuable evidence of the unscholarly and even unscientific methods of some, if not many, in the field of economics. Personally, I stand by one of the closing remarks of Kliman and Freeman in their final article: the debate is over. Marx & Philosophy Review of Books This book, and the wider literature on which it draws, should be compulsive reading for all those who believe Marx's theory is simply wrong, and be compulsory reading for all those who disdain his work and yet claim to study capitalism scientifically. -- Robert Bryer, Warwick Business School Potts and Kliman have assembled a revealing collection of exchanges in a significant but mathematically challenging debate over the 'transformation problem', in which the fundamental issue is the validity of Marx's labor theory of value. The controversy also demonstrates the inherently political nature of scientific disputation. -- Rick Kuhn, Australian National University, Winner of the Deutscher Prize for Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism This book is essential reading for anyone interested in prising Marx out of the clutches of so-called Marxists who misunderstand and reject the most fundamental discovery of Marx: that the historical differentia specifica of capitalism is the production of value and that this is a deeply contradictory process. And prising Marx out of the clutches of such 'Marxists' has never been more important than today, when capitalism appears to have exhausted whatever potential it had to deliver broad-based material welfare. -- Radhika Desai, University of Manitobashow more

Table of contents

Dedication Contents Editor's Note Acknowledgements Abbreviations 1. A Sad Story: An Introduction to and Commentary on the Debate, Nick Potts Part I. The Simultaneist-Temporalist Debate 2. Simultaneous Valuation vs. the Exploitation Theory of Profit, Andrew Kliman 3. On the TSSI and the Exploitation Theory of Profit, Simon Mohun 4. Deriving a Negative PNP, Andrew Kliman 5. Exploitation, Profits and Time, Roberto Veneziani 6. Replicating Marx: A Reply to Mohun, Andrew Kliman and Alan Freeman 7. The Incoherence of the TSSI: A reply to Kliman and Freeman, Simon Mohun and Roberto Veneziani 8. Simultaneous Valuation vs. the Exploitation Theory of Profit: A Summing Up, Alan Freeman and Andrew Kliman 9. The Truthiness of Veneziani's Critique of Marx and the TSSI, Andrew Kliman and Alan Freeman 10. The Temporal Single-System Interpretation: Underdetermination and Inconsistency, Simon Mohun and Roberto Veneziani 11. No Longer a Question of Truth?: The Knell of Scientific Bourgeois Marxian Economics and a Positive Alternative, Alan Freeman and Andrew Kliman Part II. Exchange between Robert Paul Wolff and Proponents of the TSSI 12. Once More unto the Breach, Dear Friends, Once More, Robert Paul Wolff 13. Physicalism and the Exploitation Theory of Profit are Incompatible: A Response to Robert Paul Wolff, Chris Byron, Alan Freeman, and Andrew Kliman 14. Response to Professors Freeman and Kliman and Mr. Byron, Robert Paul Wolff 15. Subsequent Dialogue between Kliman and Wolff, Andrew Kliman and Robert Paul Wolff Bibliography About the Editorsshow more

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