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Didactic Project, Working Group on Marxist Philosophy of Science, RPG Reports

way it feeds the craving it attempts
to satisfy – where do we go from
here? One feels that Ken Coates’

apt description of I. S. as ‘a rather
shrill, if also intellectually infertile,
sectarian grouping’ would find
echoes in all the groupuscules, but
has anyone done a close enough analysis of them to really know? But it
is Ralph Miliband who really throws
us the tastiest morsel, though
morsel it remains.

Having dismissed the groupuscules
~.s minority movements he returns
at last to the Communist Party,
bigger than the rest put together but
one of the smallest CPs in the capitalist world, and getting smaller;
he says:

Nor is there any good reason to
think that the Communist Party
will eventually be able to fill the
gap that exists on the left. In
order to do so, it would have to
transform itself so thoroughly
as to become a new-party: it is
not a realistic expectation.

(my emphasis)
Maybe it’s time to throwaway the
bike and put a deposit down on a

Tom Steele

Dialectic project
At time of going to press, plans are
being finalised for the one-day con ..

fE’¬∑rence on 8 January. This will include diSCUSsion of Richard
Norman’s article (parts 2 and 3) and
a critique of Norman by Rip
Bulkeley. Contributions are expected
on Hegel, Lukacs and philosophy of
science. For further information on
the project, and to join the mailing
system, write to Richard Norman,
Keynes College, University of Kent
at Canterbury.

Working Group on Marxist
Philosophy of SCIence
It is proposed to set up a national

working group in this field, within
the framework of the tnational RP
Dialectic project. Would people who
are interested please contact either
Rip Bulkeley, 29 Richmond Road,
Oxford, tel. 0865 52000 or Madan
Sarup, 61 Ardoch Road, London SE6
tel. 01-698 9717
RP Newsletter
Newsletter 3 ~s produced by the
Bristol Group last term; they plan
to produce number 4 this spring.

Number 3 includes news from the
Womens’ Philosophy Group and the
Bristol RPG. The newsletter is now
the medium for circulating financial
and business news about RP and will
be later linked to festival and AGM
planning. Individual and group contributors and subscribers should
write to the group at the address on
page 1 – send stamps.


International and Interdisciplinary Quarterly of Social Sciences
Editor K. T. Fann . Atkinson College . York University· Downsview· Ontario
M3J 2R7 . Canada
Social PraXis is a forum for the expression of all rerevant ideas in loclal thought

A .electlon of article. publl.hed In Volume. 2 and 3
The metropolis-periphery polaritY: A facet of imperialism – Andrll.. Pipllndrlloul
Oriental philosophy, martial arts and class struggle – Stllphlln Hlllbrook (U.S.A.)
Studies on social consciousness in modern Japan – Kokichi Shoji (J,plln)
Alienation as a social and philosophical problem -Adllm Sch.ff (Polllnd)
Sur I’alienatlon – Hllnri LIIfllbvrll (Fr,nc,)
The economic identification of the state emploVees – G. Cllrchlldi (Nllthllrlllnds)
Marx on the dialectics of production and consumption – W. Suchting (Ault,,’ill)
Examinations: From ritual through bureaucracy to technology – Stein., KVllle
The emergence of counterrevolutionary pOlitics in the Caribbean – A. W. Singh.m
The rates per volume of four issues are $ 11 US (approx.) for individuals, $ 25 for
institutions, and $ 8 for students.

mouton publilhers

Please Don’t Say You Won’t Play
With Me Any More ….. ! !

‘Ask yourself the follOwing question.

(Warning: I am not going to answer
this one for you!) Suppose that
someone you have known for many
years turns out to be a robot. You
find out in some reliable way that,
instead of being “born of woman”,
he was manUfactured in a secret
laboratory in a remote part of the
Soviet Union. What would your
reaction be? Would you stop ascribing conscirusness to him:? Or what?

(Don’t say it couldn’t happen; you
can’t be sure it couldn’t. I am asking you to suppose that it has. )’

In ‘Body and Mind’, Units 1 and 2 in
the Open University’s Problems of
Philosophy course, p54

box 482


Open Meeting
A couple of dozen people came to the
last Open Meeting at South B,anlk
polytechnic on 4 December 1976.

News of Groups:

Though the Bristol Group had produced many copies of the Radical
Philosophy Newsletter, in practice
the meeting itself had to be the
main format for communicating
news about the progress of different
groups as Bristol had not received
one reply to their requests for information from the others. There
was encouraging news about the
formation of a sympathetic group at
LSE, but the very survival of some
groups, which were not represented
(Birmingham and Lampeter, for
example), was a matter of rumour.

Open Meetings:

Most of the time was actually spent
on the question of whether and how
open meetings could be made more
effective. Chris Arthur proposed an
annual meeting carrying more
weight. Various. suggestions were
then put forward about how more
weight could be achieved: by preparing people in advance f or the
discussion; by excluding certain
purely technical questions (such as
printing or distribution costs) while
not giving in to the elitist pressure
that could come from their being
settled elsewhere; by communicating
and reminding people about decisions afterwards; by perhaps having
the group which is running the Newsletter use it to carry out all this
organisation; by running the annual
meeting at an annual philosophy conference. Some fears were voiced
about defining the sovereignty of an
annual meeting with a floating attendance – though the present ineffective
open meeting is a smaller, more
frequent meeting just like that.

The meeting voted for the principle
of a new ‘Annual Business Meeting’,
and asked Colin Gordon to look into
the practical difficulties and report
to the next open meeting.

Dave Murray wanted a thrice-yearly Radical Philosophy readers meeting to discuss the latest issue – a
function which, according to
Jonathan Ree, it had always been
hoped the open meetings would fulfil.


The meeting agreed without a vote
that, subject to financial provisos
from the distribution collective at
Brighton, Radical Philosophy should
go into the Producers Distribution
Cooperative, which was discussed at
the previous open meeting. The
hoped-for long-term advantage has
to be to reach potential new subscribers by prompter delivery to
more bookshops, for the Cooperative’s cut would be added to that
already made by bookshops, which
return to us 5p less than it costs to
produce a copy.

Coopting Groups into Editorial

Daniel Jenkins presented to the
meeting the follOwing motion from
the Bristol group: ‘Radical
Philo~ophy (Bristol) notes that one
of the functions of Radical
Philosophy Journal is to serve the
needs of the local We
further note that one of the functions
of the local groups is to serve the
needs of the journal. Radical
Philosophy (Bristol) therefore recommends to the Open Meeting of
4 December and the editorial meeting of 5 December that it should
debate the issue of co-opting local
‘groups into the “Editorial Board”.

Radical Philosophy (Bristol) holds
the position on this question that it
would be a good thing if local groups
were co-opted onto the Board, both
for local groups and for the journal.

The motion was passed unopposed.

The previous editorial meeting had
in fact already agreed to this proposal, and articles had been sent to
Bristol and to Birmingham.

Philosophy Festival:

Nick Jenkin from Sussex reported
the turn of discussion when 6 undergraduates had met to plan a philOsophy festival at Sussex in the spring
In short, they disliked the very idea
of a festival in the manner of last
year’s at Oxford (though many people
at the meeting expressed their satisfaction with the Oxford one). Rather
than a large gathering with guest
speakers froni the academic world,
workshops on agreed topics, etc,
they wanted a more intimate debate
to discuss new, truly radical ways
of learning. There is amongst
Radical Philosophy supporters a
recurring unsatisfied desire to talk
philosophy to non-academics or in a
non-academic style.

But most of the people present fel t
that an Oxford-style festival was
desirable all the same. The Bristol
group agreed to consider running
one. Since the meeting, they have
offered to run the next festival on
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 22-24

Noel Parker
Oxford RPG
The Oxford group has had a reaSOJlably successful first term of the
academic year which we hope to consolidate and build upon. Although the
‘hard core’ of RP activists remains
relatively small considering the size
of the philosophy industry here, our
meetings have been well attended
and have drawn people representing
a wide (if fluctuating) range of

Our most successful venture has
been a popular series of weekly introductory meetings on ‘Other
Philosophy’ which we hope to continue this term. Last term Roy Edgley
-started off the series with a consideration of the ‘English tradition’ and

this was continued with Joarma Hodge
on Gadamer, Colin Gordon on
Foucault, Graham Burchell on
Althusser, and Paul Hirst on Marxism and Philosophy. With a degree
of naivete we also invited Charles
Taylor to speak on Hegel and the
Left – a mistaKe we subsequently
felt worth apologising for. One problem the series has highlighted il) the
shifting composition of those attending the meetings and the lack of a
continuous interest in Radical
Philosophy and its work beyond
specific areas of academic interest.

That this is, perhaps, evidence of
an academicist orientation to RP
may be supported by the fact that a
meeting called to discuss the supplement on ‘Philosophy from Below’ in
RP 15 was very poorly attended, and
that there is a general reluctance to
discuss future planning of RP’s

Apart from this main series of
meetings there is a reading group on
Capital and a Dialectic group, both
of which are thriving.

An RP poster with graphics by
Trevor Jago and space for news of
meetings etc can be obtained from
David Berry, 51 Blenheim Road,
Moseley, Birmingham.

Australian bookshops
RP is sold in Australia at .Intervention Bookshop, Dixon Street,
Sydney, and the People’s Bookshop,
Rundle Street, Adelaide.

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