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Unpublished Paper
Marxism as a Learning Process | The Epistemic Rationality of Precedential Reasoning.pdf
  • Stephen D'Arcy
Against the "anti-citationalist" view that quoting "canonical" figures like Marx in order to justify controversial claims is irrational and "quasi-religious," I argue that the practice of treating quotations from canonical sources as establishing a weighty presumption in favour of a view is not, as such, irrational. If we understand the epistemological infrastructure of the practice -- the rational underpinnings of it -- we can grasp how these citations appeal to the presumptive authoritativeness of formulations that condense or concisely convey the core of insights that emerged from learning processes that the intellectual tradition of marxism has already traversed. The rational underpinnings of the practice include, first, the neo-Hegelian idea that we can justify a view we now hold by rationally reconstructing the insight-motivated learning process from which it emerged, and second, the convention that these rational reconstructions do not have to be elaborated in each insistence, but can be invoked in a short-form way, such as by citing the name of a decision or a concise statement of it (like a short quotation), as is common in the epistemologically similar practice of precedential reasoning in common law juridical justification.
  • marxist philosophy,
  • marx,
  • marxism,
  • marxist epistemology,
  • precedential reasoning
Publication Date
Citation Information
Stephen D'Arcy. "Marxism as a Learning Process | The Epistemic Rationality of Precedential Reasoning.pdf" (2019)
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