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Gramsci, Sraffa, Wittgenstein: philosophical linkages

Listed author(s):
  • 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.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought.

Volume (Year): 9 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 384-401

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Handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:9:y:2002:i:3:p:384-401
DOI: 10.1080/09672560210149224
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Mongiovi, Gary, 1996. "Sraffa's Critique of Marshall: A Reassessment," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 207-224, March.
  4. 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.
  5. Davis, J B, 1988. "Sraffa, Wittgenstein and Neoclassical Economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 29-36, March.
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