Real Abstraction: The Conference--Day3 Frank Engster, Maya Gonzalez, Paul Reynolds

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

Sunday, August 8

11am EST: Frank Engster

1:30pm EST: Maya Gonzalez

4pm EST: Paul Reynolds

Webinar Link to all the sessions:


Link to The conference page:

Link to Blog post for:

Day1: Friday, August 6: Conrad Hamilton, Jaleh Mansoor, Alberto Toscano

Day2: Sunday, August 7: Roberto Finelli- Richard Seaford- Jason Moore

Day4: Monday, August 9: Roundtable/questions for presenter



Frank Engster- 11am EST

The Blind Spot in Sohn-Rethel and in Marxist Critique: The Technique of Measurement

Sohn-Rethel construed Marx’s value-form analysis as an empirical exchange of commodities and held that this empirical exchange performs a "real abstraction". In this way, he labored under the very semblance that money engenders at the surface of society. This semblance can be rendered transparent by, on the one hand, explaining value in terms of capitalist valorization rather than as a product of abstraction, and on the other hand by developing money as the measure and as the capitalist form of this valorization, rather than as a means of exchange. I want to show how this technique of measurement constitutes both a first and a second nature by quantifying relations, forcing the identity of nature and of our society to appear by magnitudes decisive for the very same reproduction of nature and society.

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