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The Dialectics of Differentiation: Marx's Mathematical Manuscripts and Their Relation to His Economics

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  • Peter Matthews

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Abstract

The notion that Marx neither understood nor advocated the use of mathematics is a persistent one. His interest in both commercial and abstract mathematics spanned more than two decades however, and culminated in two "contributions" to the foundations of the calculus: "On the Concept of the Differential" (1881). A detailed examination of these and other technical notebooks suggests that Marx's economics both motivated and informed his studies in mathematics and that these, in turn, influenced his understanding of economic phenomena.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Matthews, 2002. "The Dialectics of Differentiation: Marx's Mathematical Manuscripts and Their Relation to His Economics," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0203, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0203
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    File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0203.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Hans Matthews, 2000. "An Econometric Model of the Circuit of Capital," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 1-39, February.
    2. Cockshott, W Paul & Cottrell, Allin F, 1997. "Labour Time versus Alternative Value Bases: A Research Note," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 545-549, July.
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    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist
    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General

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    1. Математические рукописи (Карл Маркс) in Wikipedia Russian ne '')

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