IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Gramsci, Sraffa, Wittgenstein: philosophical linkages


  • John Davis


The paper assumes that since Gramsci influenced Sraffa and SraffA influenced Wittgenstein it may be possible to delineate a set of philosophical ideas which they shared in some degree. Gramsci's ideas are first reviewed on terms of his concept of hegemony, concept of caesarism and philosophy of praxis. On this basis three philosophical themes are identified in his thinking: the conept of emergence; catastrophic equilibrium; and the idea of a concrete universal. The thinking of Sraffa (both earlier and later) and the thinking of Wittgenstein (later) are then interpreted in terms of these same three themes. These links neither exhaust their philosophical thinking nor necessarily constitute the only links among the three. But these ideas provide one way of exploring connections among the three. The paper closes with brief remarks concerning two opposed philosophical traditions in modern European intellectual history at the turn of the century — one associated with thinking in Britain and one associated with continental thinking — meant to suggest the distinctiveness of a line of thinking running through Gramsci, Sraffa and Wittgenstein.

Suggested Citation

  • John Davis, 2002. "Gramsci, Sraffa, Wittgenstein: philosophical linkages," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 384-401.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:9:y:2002:i:3:p:384-401
    DOI: 10.1080/09672560210149224

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrews, David R, 1996. "Nothing Is Hidden: A Wittgensteinian Interpretation of Sraffa," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 763-777, November.
    2. Maneschi, Andrea, 1986. "A Comparative Evaluation of Sraffa's 'The Laws of Returns under Competitive Conditions' and Its Italian Precursor," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 1-12, March.
    3. Pierangelo Garegnani, 1998. "Sraffa: the theoretical world of the 'old classical economists'," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 415-429.
    4. Mongiovi, Gary, 1996. "Sraffa's Critique of Marshall: A Reassessment," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 207-224, March.
    5. Davis, J B, 1988. "Sraffa, Wittgenstein and Neoclassical Economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 29-36, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Nuno Ornelas Martins, 2012. "Mathematics, Science and the Cambridge Tradition," Economic Thought, World Economics Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-2, December.
    2. Nuno Ornelas Martins, 2013. "Classical Surplus Theory and Heterodox Economics," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(5), pages 1205-1231, November.
    3. repec:bla:rgscpp:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:83-99 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mathieu Marion, 2005. "Sraffa and Wittgenstein: Physicalism and constructivism," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 381-406.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:9:y:2002:i:3:p:384-401. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.