By Tony Smith
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Extra info for Dialectical Social Theory and Its Critics: From Hegel to Analytical Marxism and Postmodernism
Hence it too lacks the categorial universality re quired by an adequate theory of economic categories. Let us examine the notion of categorial universality more closely. One could argue that the term is not univocal; the same category can be used in different theoretical contexts. It is possible to distinguish em59 Part One: The HypUan Lgpcy m Marxist Social Theory ploying a category as a genus from employing it as a determination in a dialectical progression of categories. It could well be the case that the ap propriate notion of universality is different in these two different contexts.
Hegel also had afertoo restrictive view of public regulations. Hegei began with the supposition that, if there were no civil society, nature and the family would provide individuals with their subsistence needs. Whenever the market transactions of civil society threaten the satisfac tion of an individual's subsistence needs, Hegei continued, public authorities have a duty to take over the role nature and the family play when civil society is not present. Public authorities must ensure that sub» sistence needs are met.
Or should our interest be directed instead to the general structural tendencies that hold on the given categorial level? I believe that theformeris a matter for individual biography, whereas the latter is the proper concern for dialectical social theories. And I believe that this was Hegel's position as well. Consider the category "property" in The Philosophy qfRyjht. This defines a structure within which persons objectify their will in external objects. On the level of individual biography, persons arefreeto do this in a harmonious fashion.
Dialectical Social Theory and Its Critics: From Hegel to Analytical Marxism and Postmodernism by Tony Smith