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16 Reviews

Reviews
Goodbye to all that’ ‘1
Perry Anderson, Considerations on
western Marxism, New Left Books,
121pp, £4
Marx in British culture
Through the sixties and early seventies English academic’ Marxism lay
back with its legs open. We experienced the successive thrills of penetration by the giants of continental
European Marxist philosophy.

Lukacs, Korsch, Adorno (perhaps
we had a bit of difficulty there),
Althusser, Colletti. The last of the
line, in the chronology of the translation programme, Sartre with his
massive CritiQue of Dialectical
Reason, has just arrived. Only just
in time, for it seems that this tradition of Western Marxism which has
been inseminating our culture is now
senile, perhaps even a corpse. Look”ing back one can see a pattern. As
each new text appeared in English
there was a wave of excitement.

New battle lines were drawn. New
loyalties forged. New footnotes
written. But each time it was a more
or less transitory affair and there
soon followed a post-coital tristesse.

For none of these Western Marxists
has really settled in our culture or
really provided us with a space within which we could safely b·..:..~~d our
own work. It has all been a rather
confusing experience. Perhaps the
comrades of Carlisle Street could
have been a bit clearer in their own
minds and in their editorial guidance
as to what the whole prolonged process was supposed to have been about
Perry Anderson is the editor of the
New Left Review. In the Foreword to
his Considerations on Western Marxism he explains that the Review has
methodically pursued a programme
of ‘publishing and discussing, often
for the first time in Britain, the
work of the most salient theorists
from Germany, France and Italy’,
a programme which was, with a little
help from their friends (for it was
La wrence & Wishart who published
Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks and
Merlin who published Lukacs’

History and Class Consciousness)
reaching its end by the early seventies. The drive behind the programme was Perry Anderson’s diagnosis of the p.overty of British socialist thought. The British socialist
movement floundered in a terrible,
debilitating theoretical vacuum. But
the diagnosis had two rather different aspects. Firstly, ‘English culture Significantly lacked any tradition
of “Western Marxism ft, in the epoch
since the First World War (see
tComponents of the National Culture’

New Left Review 50, 1968). Secondly,
‘we must be unique among advanced
industrial nations in having not one
single structural study of our society
today; but this stupefying absence
follows logically from the complete
lack of any serious global history of
British society in the twentieth century; … No attempt has ever been
made at even the outline of a “totallzing” history of modern British
society. ‘ (see ‘Origins of the Present
Crisis’ in Anderson and Blackburn,
eds. Towards Socialism, Fontana,
1965). A fair assessment of the state
of British culture at the time. But
there remains a puzzle about the relations between these two aspects of
the diagnosis: on the one hand the
absence of a tradition of ‘Western
Marxism’, and on the other the absence of analyses of the British social formation. Of course they are
connected by the word ‘totalizing’;
it was because of the first absence
that we had no idea what that way of
describing the second absence meant.

But the two faces of our ignorance
did seem to indicate two alternative
ways forward for Marxist intellectuals, two ways forward that were in
fact also indicated by the choice of
contributors to that Towards
Socialism volume, in which Anderson
and Andre Gorz rubbed shoulders
with Richard Titmus and John
Westergaard, as it were representing two emergent British responses
to the poverty of British Marxism.

InCidentally’ it is worth remembering
that some far more astonishing
shoulder rubbing was also going on in
that volume, for among the contributors were Thomas Balogh and
Richard Crossman whose response
to the poverty of British Marxism
was to firmly e.stablish themselves
within the camp of British capital!

But of course this was in 1964, the
year of the great Labour victory and
the white heat of Wilson’s vision of a
socialist crusade, and almost all of
us had more illusions then. than now.

Two possible ways forward. The
New Left Review way forward was a
programme of cultural importation
of continental philosophical Marxism.

The alternative was to go straight to
the task of empirical research on the
British social formation. The subsequent history of British socialist
intellectual production has by and
large gone these two separate ways.

‘British Marxism’ has developed
through the works of Ralph Miliband
on the State, John Westergaard on
the sociology of class, Raymond
Williams’ cultural histories, and the
work of the historians E. P.

Thompson, “Eric Hobsbaw’m, Raphael

Samuel and the Ruskin Workshops.

A certain amount of debate about the
relations between British and Western Marxisms has appeared in the
New Left Review over the years, but
there has been no on-going systematic editorial exploration of the
issues involved. The Review’S defence of its strategy for intellectual
work has never gone much beyond
that initial indication of our theoretical poverty. Now that the programme of translations is at an end
an overall assessment of the tradi:”
tion of ‘Western Marxism’ is attempted in Perry Anderson’ s book. But
the first point to be made about this
assessment is that it concentrates
almost entirely on the task of plotting
the ‘coordinates of Western Marxism
itself and discussing its discontinuity
with the earlier tradition of ‘Classical Marxism’ and does not concern
itself with the relations between
these Marxisms and the recent British variety. To put this another way,
there is no attempt made to analyse
and evaluate the New Left Review
programme as a specific strategy,
as a prolonged and infuential intervention in British socialist culture,
nor to evaluate the contribution this
programme has made to overcoming
that other lack, the lack of knowledge
about the British social formation,
which had been identified at the outset as such a crucial obstacle to the
development of the socialist movement in Britain. In other words the
Review adopts its usual policy of
refraining from analysing its own
activity politically. The consequence
of this is that the impact the book
might have made on the current debate about our present intellectual
options and responsibilities will be
severely limited. The book does
have an important and controversial
thesis which, if accepted, has major
implications for our theoretical
strategy. But since the book does
not situate itself nor explicitly draw
out its implications. we will have to
do this work ourselves.

These remarks should not, however, be taken as dismissive of the
achievements of the New Left Review
They have contributed in a major
way to our Marxist culture. They
have helped to construct a counterhegemonic force with which we can
resist the philistinism, smugness,
arrogance and unimaginative stupidities of British university culture.

For generations academics have
treated Marx and Engels with contempt. In writing about them they
have abandoned all elementary principles of scholarship in a way they
would never have dared to do when
39

writing about Plato or Herbert
Spencer. Most academic judgments
of Marx and Engels have been made,
with sneering confidenc€, by bourgeois fools who have never studied
their major works. It is no longer so
easy for them to get a way with this.

They are increasingly confronted
and challenged by an educated audience of Marxist intellectuals. There
is no doubt that the New Left Review
has helped to bring this about.

Although perhaps the major innovation has been the publication in
English of works by Marx and Engels
themselves in recent years; Of
course ‘recent’ is a relative term,
and many of those who we now teach
in the universities and polytechnics,
having been no more than ten years
old in May 1968, may not realise
just how recently Theories of Surplus
Value, the full text of The German
Ideology, the 1857 Introduction, The
Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, the Grundrisse, and the
Notes on Wagner have become readily available in English.

Varieties of Marxism
The main theses of Considerations
can -be stated quite simply. In the
book itself, of course, they are developed, documented and qualified in
ways that make them far more interesting and plausible than they can
seem here in summary. The first
‘generation’ of Marxist theorists
were Labriola, Mehring, Kautsky
and Plekhanov. Their aims were the
‘systematisation and recapitulation
of an inheritance still very new and
close behind them I. Of far greater
importance were their successors,
the ‘second generation’, and
Anderson discusses this group in far
more detail. They made fundamental
contributions to Marxist theory, extending it into new areas and adding
to its repertoire of theoretical concepts. This generation (Lenin,
Luxemburg, Hilferding, Trotsky,
Bauer, Preobrazhensky, Bukharin)
were all involved in politics, indeed
were active leaders of their respective political organisations. They
played significant roles in the political life of central and Eastern
Europe. Their main theoretical contributions were in two broad areas.

Firstly they analysed the capitalist
mode of production and the laws of
its development. Their contributions
can be found, for example, in
Hilferding’s Finance Capital,
Kautsky’s Agrarian Question (neither
of which have yet appeared in English
editions, an amazing indication of
our cultural insularity), in the work
of Bukharin, Luxemburg and Lenin
on capital accumulation and imperialism, and in the work of
Preobrazhensky on the economic
theory of the transition to socialism.

Their second major contribution is
their work on pOlitics; they p1″odllced
both analyses of concrete social
40

formations and important works of
political theory (the theory of the
bourgeois state, of the role and
strategy of revolutionary organisation§, of proletarian democracy and
so on. ) The main contributions here
were those of Lenin, Luxemburg
and Trotsky.

Anderson sketches in the main historical forces which produced the
decisive shift away from the interests and style of work of. this tradition, and towar-ds those of the new
tradition of ‘Western Marxism’. The
West suff ered a period of fascism
and a subsequent reestablishment of
a dynamic capitalist political and
economic order. In the East Stalinism effected a complete and brutal
elimination of all Significant theoretical Marxist work. The centre of
Marxist thought shifted to the West
but the situation prevented its taking
root in the political organisations of
the workers movement. Marxist
thought had to contend not only with
a strengthened capitalist ideological
hegemony but also with a workers’

movement that was dominated by
Parties which were slavishly obedient to the dictates of the leadership
of the Communist Party of the Soviet
Union. It was in these conditions
that the new generation of Marxist
theoreticians were destined to work,
and the shift of focus from politics
and economics towards philosophy
was a consequence. The possibility
for a unity between theory and practice was objectively blocked. Marxist theory retreated more and more
into esoteric academicism. ‘It was
in this altered universe that revolutionary theory completed the inutation which produced what can today
retrospectively be called “Western
Marxism”. For the body of work
composed by (these authors) in effect
constituted an entirely new intellectual configuration within the development of historical materialism. In
their hands, Marxism became a type
of theory in certain critical respects
quite distinct from anything that had
preceded it. ‘ This mutation was produced through the work of Lukacs,
Korsch, Gramsci, Benjamin,
Horkheimer, Della Volpe, Marcuse,
Lefebvre, Adorno, Sartre,
Goldmann, Althusser and Colletti
(although Gramsci turns out to be an
exception in almost every respect to
the main tendencies of the tradition).

‘For over twenty years after the
Second World War, the intellectual
record of western MarxiSm in
original economic or political theory
proper – in production of major
works in either field – was Virtually
blank. ‘

Not only is Western Marxism
marked by a displacement of focus
away from politics and economics
towards academic philosophy, it is
also. marked by a deep ‘subterranean
pessimism’. It despairs of the working class. It is no longer convinced
of its revolutionary potential (this is

particularly true of the Frankfurt
Marxists). It lacks the confidence
and optimism of the founders of historical materialism. As for Sartre
and Althusser, their pessimism is
even darker for they introduce doubts
about the very vision of socialism
itself. They paint a picture, according to Anderson, of socialist society
as opaque and ridden with ideology
(Althusser), and as inherently tending to degenerate into bureaucratic
tyranny (Sartre). In this tradition
‘Marxism spoke thoughts once unthi~ble’. In all these respects
Western Marxism is the product of
defeat. ‘The hidden hallmark of
Western Marxism as a whole is thus
that it is a product of defeat. …

Its major works were, without excep·
tion, produced in situations of political isolation and despair. ‘

Anderson’s thesis thus strikingly
and boldly contrasts these two different Marxisms and maps the radical
discontinuity between them. The
account is complicated, however, in
the closing stages of the book, by the
appearance of a different, more
marginal tradition, a tradition which
has survived as the true inheritor of
the classical tradition, historically
in continuity with it but pushed towards the periphery of Western
socialist culture. This continuity is
personified by Trotsky and the tradition which he kept alive has developed through the work of Deutscher,
Rosdolsky and Mandel. Trots.k(yist
Marxism ‘has been a polar contrast
to Western Marxism. It concentrated
on politics and economics, not philosophy. It was resolutely internationalist, never confined in concern or
horizon to a single culture or country. It spoke a language of clarity
and urgency, whose finest prose
(Trotsky or Deutscher) yet possessed a literary quality equal or superior to that of any other tradition. It
filled no chairs in universities. Its
members were hunted or outlawed. ‘

This synoptic overview of the
traditions of Marxism is certainly
an original and exciting achievement.

Epistemological levitation
As it happens, however, Considerations on Western Marxism announces not one ending but two: the completion of the NLR programme of
translations and the death of the
tradition of Western Marxism itself.

For this tradition of universitybased, philosophical Marxism,
which as far as its English audience
is concerned culminates with the
arrival of Sartre’s Critique, is said
by Anderson to have run its course
and to be giving way now to a revitalised Marxism of a more classical
kind. We might have thought that
Sartre’s massive volume represented a substantial gift of philosophical
aid arriving from Europe to help us
through our continuing provinCial
famine. In fact we are encouraged to

receive it in this spirit by the New
Left Books catalogue which characteristically says that the international
reputation of Sartre’ s Critique has
not ceased to grow in the fifteen
years since its original publication,
so that ‘for the English world this
translation is a major intellectual
event’. On the other hand there
arrives on our desks almost simultaneously, and from the very same
address, Perry Anderson’s Considerations which would encourage us
rather to view the Critique as a kind
of huge monument to a now defunct
tradition, a tradition whioh has taken
Marxism further and further into
philosophical speculation, esoteric
idealism, academicism and pessimism, and ever further away from
the soul of Marxism.

This schizophrenic attitude to the
tradition of Western Marxism is
achieved, in ConSiderations, by a
shift to a standpoint which is somewhere (it is not clear where exactly)
outside it and distant from it. Suddenly a great gap has opened up
between the tradition and its spectator, for he is now surveying its coortlinates from the external standpoint of a Cartesian geometer. But
the shift to this new standpoint seems
to be achieved less by histOi’ical
argument than by a kind of epistemological levitation. Although there are
certain considerations which do
suggest that events are removing us
from that historical epoch in which
the tradition of Western Marxism
had its roots, th’ese developments
are as yet still limited and uncertain.

As Anderson himself hinfs, the main
determining historical forces which
drove Marxist theory into the universities and which ruptured the
vital links between theory and practice, are still very active. The dead
hand of Stalinism in Eastern Europe
and the dominance within the workers
movement in Western Europe of the
Communist Parties (and in Britain
the continuing near monopoly of
Labourist ideology) are still very
much alive and active, albe~t in
circumstances of capitalist economic
crisis. The implications of this for
Perry Anderson’s book are that his
purely retrospective view of the
Western Marxist detour, and his
confirlent Olympian judgments about
its fate may turn out to be premature.

Perhaps we are not as liberated
from this tradition, or from the conditions that produced it, as his
methodological illusionistic device
of attempting to view this tradition
from above may suggest.

Whether or not this is so it will
‘Still be necessary for Marxist
intellectuals to read this book. In
spite of the limitations I have pointed
out, it does have positive and progressive value. It calls upon us to
reflect upon our theoretical allegiences and loyalties. It challenges us
to define our commitments in the
light of the distance now between us

fundamentally idealist tradition, as
Anderson seems to argue. He is so
intent on identifying the tradition’s
‘coordinates’ that he fails to pay
attention to its contradictions. The
question of whether, in the case of
each writer, the use made of Freud
was predominantly an idealist or a
materialist one, could only be
settled by a far moreaetailed analysis of the works involved than
Anderson allows himself in this book.

But in general the chosen historiographical device of defining the
common ·features of a tradition and
a ‘generation’ seems to encourage a
minimisation of differences which is
hardly compatible with a Marxist
assessment of the works involved.

Thus, for example, Anderson points
out that the Western Marxist tradition has concerned itself with ‘substative’ issues, outside philosophy,
only on the terrain of ideology and
culture. But it seems quite perverse
not to note that within this Similarity
there are absolutely vital differences,
vital that is from the point of view of
Marxist theory itself and for our own
work within it. For in’st:a,!nce
Benjamin’s starting point was in the
labour process, with the notion of
mechanical reproduction; Sartre’s
was in an idealist ontology, with the
definition of individual freedom;
Althusser’s was with the concept of
the reproduction of the relations of
production, a starting point that
leads immediately into problems
within economic and political theory.

This latter point suggests another
criticism of Anderson’ s way of dra wing the map. I am not convinced that
Althusser falls so unambiguously
within the tradition of Western Marxism as Anderson claims. It seems
likely that here again we have an
effect of his general methodological
device which relies so heavily on talk
about traditions and generations, and
which works by traCing very definite
borders and discontinuities around
and between these hypostatised entities. His historical vision seems to
be predomirtantly classificatory. His
and the great intellectuals of
Classical Marxism. We should not
attempt to evade this challenge. In
particular Marxist philosophers
should not evade this challenge, for
it is the Significance of their work
for the development of Marxism that
is most directly in question.

Which way forward?

The outline of a map of the theoretical heritage of Marxism begin to
emerge. It is an outline which
seems at least provisionally convincing. It is certainly helpful to
have this degree of order imposed
upon history for us. As for the details, however, there i-s bound to be
some disagreement. For example,
I am not convinced that Western
Marxism’s debts to Freud indicate
in themselves. that it has been a

impulse is to force history into
shape. This gives rise not only to an
impatience with contradictions within
the territories thus mapped out, but
also to an intolerance of ambiguity at
their borders. It seems to me, for
example, that Althusser is just as
ambiguously Felated to the tradition
at its end as was Gramsci at its
beginning. For his work points the
way out of the tradition rather than
seducing us back into it. It is worth
noting, for example, that Althusser’s
influence, at least in France where
he is rather better understood than
elsewhere, has been to stimulate
and influence the course of research
not so much in philosophy as in
political economy (Bettelheim) and
political theory (Poulantzas on
political power, classes, fascism
etc; Balibar on the dictatorship of
the proletariat etc).

Perhaps of more general interest
for readers of Radical Philosophy is
the question of where philosophy itself stands in the light of Perry
Anderson’s considerations. It certainly seems ,to be the villain of the
piece. But we should remember that
the categories which are employed
here function purely descriptively.

There is no attempt at a theoretical
account of the kinds and varieties of
Marxist intellectual inquiry and the
relations between them. We do not
know whether it is philosophy as
such, or only a philosophy which
illegitimately monopolised Marxist
research, which is the enemy.

There is no exploration as to the
potential role, if any, of philosophy
within a Marxist tradition which
fully returned to the epistemology of
the founders of historical materialism, and which functioned firmly in
unity with a tradition of revolutionary politics. This is why the implications of the book’s theses for our
present concerns, for our present
strategic options, are not at all
clear. As the author himself apologetically admits in an Afterword, it
would be easy to read a naively activist politics into the book’s implicit
c~:mdemnation of philosophy and its
insistance on a unity between theory
and practice. For it finishes on a
disturbing note. ‘When a truly revolutionary movement is born in a
mature working class, the “final
shape” of theory will have no exact
precedent. All that can be said is
that when the masses themselves
speak, theoreticians – of the sort the
West has produced for fifty years will necessarily be silent. ‘

I do not believe that this is all that
can be said. Something can already
be said about the relations between
philosophy and other areas of intellectual production, about philosophy
in relation to ideological and politicaJ
struggle. It is for philosophy to discover how it must change in order t6′

shoulder its responsibilities.

John Mepham
41

Psi aad Sci-n
John Randall, Parapsychology and
the Nature of Life, Souvenir Press,
1975, £4
Owen Chadwick, discussing the popular handbooks of materialism and
atheism of the later 19th century,
writes of the physiologist BUchner
asking his brother’s advice on the
publishing of such a text; on hearing
the title, Force and Matter. his
brother jumped out of his chair,
exclaiming ‘Why, the title alone is
worth money. Any publisher will buy
the book without looking at it’

(Chadwick, p172). Contrasting- tllat
time with ours, Chadwick mentions
that we could not imagine such enthusiasm in a modern publisher.

Clearly, this is true. The cultural
space once occupied by polemical
generalisations of evolution theory
and militant anti – cleri calism has
emptied of such works. They have
been replaced by Supernature. 7en
and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Secret Life of Plants etc
etc. A publisher might now jump out
of his chair if offered the title
Psychic Force and Matter. Works
such as Buchner’s were important,
not for their evidence, which was
often weak, but for their stance: a
large public wanted to read ‘scientific’ attacks on religion – ‘if a scholar
said that all the gospels were forged
in the fourth century, it got wide
publicity; the refutation got little. ‘

(Chad wick, p179). The claim that
plants produce quasi-human effects
on a lie-detector is well known; it is
less widely known that the claim was
made by a trainer of CIA interrogators and that attempts to replicate
his results have failed. There is
now a public that wants scientific
def ences of religion.

John Randall’s Parapsychology and
the Nature of Life is for the upper
end of this market, and has been
acclaimed as an excellent introduction to its subject. I, Its conceptual
and evidential tactics will be examined to demonstrate one of the strategies in the bourgeoisie’s cultural
scorched-earth campaign, as it retreats from the terrain of rationality.

The book has three sections:

an account of the success of evolution theory and biochemistry in explaining life in naturalistic terms,
and the lamentable extension of this
approach to persQns;
a review of the history and empirical
results of parapsychology (or ‘psiresearch’), which allegedly refute
1 By: Brian Inglis, Guardian. 18.12.75; John Delt){f,
Journal of the Soc~sychical Reseal:.£.!!..

March 1976; Roilert Thou!css, .Tot.lrnal of Parapsychology, December 1975. Ai1U’iu:lvou–rahlCreview
is by J. C. Poynter in Parapsychology Revie!)
September-October 1976. He argues that RandaII
relies on a Cartesian notion of mind and a Newtonlan
paradigm of space/time and matter which limits
him to a naive and superceded ontology, making him
an easy target for the critics of parapsychology.

42

the exaggerated claims of physicalism;
a discussion of alleged internal inconsistencies in evolution theory and
the author’s solution to these
The book takes as its motto’ a quo~tion from the psychologist William
McDougall, who was instrumental in
establishing the diSCipline of experimental parapsychology in North
America’

… in the name of science, many
thousands of young people are
every year taught to believe that
man is literally nothing more
than a piece of mechanisItl, without power or influence on his
destiny. Against this fatalistic
dogma, so destructive of aspiration and so weakening to all
higher effort, I have not ceased
to wage war …

This dogma, ‘mechanism’ is nowhere clearly defined or analysed,
all we are offered are such tautologies as:

The mechanist believes that all
living things are completely explicable in terms of the laws of
physics and chemistry. To him,
organisms are nothing more than
highly complex machines. (p21)
Randall gives the following account
of the ~ultural effects of this doctrine over the last century:

In Victorian times church attendance was high, social reforms were
increaSing, there was confidence in
the future, God existed, life was
essentially different from matter
and man was essentially different
from the animals. ‘It seemed as
though Church and State would go
forward in partnership for ever, to
the salvation of man’s soul and the
advancement of his physical wellbeing’ (plO). The keystone of this
world-picture was the Argument
from Design. This was shattered by
Darwin’s demonstration that the order of life was produced by natural
selection acting on random variations. Evolutionism, aided by organic chemistry, established the program of mechanist reductionism. It
proceeded to reduce the human soul:

in Watson, to conditioned reflexes;
in Freud, to libidinal drives. The
mechanisation of man even found an
ally in philosophy, namely in
the Oxford school of logical positivists (sic), who set out to demonstrate that all metaphYSical proppositions are nonsensical. (p50)
According to Randall, the chief
mechanic of the Oxford Circle was
Ryle, whose Concept of Mind was
Simply a behaviorist exorcism of the
ghost from the machine. The doctrine of ‘mechanism’ has had a disastrous effect on social behavior, having caused men to regard themselves
as mere machines engaged in a mutual struggle for survival. One of the
eff~cts of ‘mechanism’ is that:

Capitalists found in Darwinism a
means
rationalising their
exploitation of the workers. (P55)

of

Worse still:

Through the teaching of the Marxists, the poorer classes were
encouraged to enter into a perpetual struggle against their
rulers. Once again, the suffering
generated by the class war was
justified by an appeal to the
Survival-of -the-Fittest principle:

after.all it was, apparently,
nature’s own way of doing things
(p56)
Darwinism, so we’re told, became a
central element in Stalinism and
Nazism, and led to the barbarism of
the concentration camps. ‘Mechanism’ now pervades our culture and
has generated an ‘existential crisis’,
manifested both in neurose.s and in a
.search for ways to revive meaning.

For Randall, Darwinism is the
anti-christ, and his account of its
social influence shows either an ignorance or a dishonesty that is amazing from a teacher of biology. He
ignores the consistent support given
by Darwin’s family, their associates’ his own associates, and his
followers to progressive causes,
such as solidarity meetings with the
French Revolution and anti-slavery
agitation (Gruber, Ch. 3). Far from
the Nazis turning to Darwin for
support, they repudiated him, because his theory implied that the
Aryan race had once been less than
perfect (Mosse, p103). Their ideologue Othmar Spann even used words
that could be Randall’s: ‘Darwin and
Marx have done terrible harm to our
civilisation by their mechanical conception of development. .. ‘ (quoted
in Needham, 1976, p165). And how
can anyone believe that ‘compulsory
classes in Darwinism were given in
the (Stalinist) prison camps’ (p57)
unless they’ve never heard of
Lysenko?

The research program of parapsychology was began by men who
were hysterically opposed to evolutionism. McDougall was quite
clear on this: 2
Unless psychical research can discover facts incompatible with materalism, materialism will continue
to spread. No other power can stop
it; revealed religion and metaphysical philosophy are equally helpless
before the advancing tide. And if
that tide continues to rise and advance as it is doing now, all the
signs point to the view that it will
be a destroying tide, that it will
sweep away all the hard-won gains
of humanity, all the moral traditions built up by the efforts of count·
less generations for the increase
2 For McDougall (and later for Alister Hardy and
Arthur Koestler) the postulation of a psi force proyided a possible mechanism for the inheritance of
acquired characteristics – thus bridging the gulf
between the somatic and the germinal cells that is
maintained in the prinCiple of the substantial continuity and functional independence of the latter from
the former. The attempt to demonstrate the inheritance of acquired characteristics was ‘the major
experimental effort of his career’; according to
Rhine, who was the only person to claim successful
replication 01. McDougall’s results. (Rhine, 1971,
p176)

of truth, justice and charity.

(from Religion and the Sciences of
Life, quoted in Turrell, p245)
Very briefly, Randall’s account of
the study which is to save man from
the ‘existential vacuum’ is:

Research began in the closing decades of the last century with studies
of mediumship, hypnosis, telepathy
and hauntings. In the early 1930s
the study of telepathy was put on a
rigorous experimental basis by the
work of J. B. Rhine in the USA. He
further demonstrated the existence
of:

clairvoyance – direct, non-sensory
perception of material events.

precognition – direct, non-sensory
perception (not prediction) of future
event.s.

psycho-kinesis – direct, non-motor,
effectivity on material events.

Since then, experimental methods
have been refined and new psi-effects
discovered. Psi-researchers have
successfully defended themselves
against scepticism and narrowminded accusations of fraud; their
discipline is now irreversibly established in the scientific commUllity,
and any remaining doubts have been
dispelled by the use of automated
testing devices.

In outline, the classic Rhine testing
procedure for perceptual psi is that
the subject attempts to ‘guess’ the
sequence of cards in a ‘Zener’ pack,
conSisting of five cards of each design: square, circle, cross, wavy
lines, star. The cards to be guessed
(‘target cards’) are:

concentrated on by the sender, to
test for telepathy;
placed in a sealed, opaque envelope,
in a sequence then sensorially unperceived by anyone, to test for
clairvoyance;
shuffled into the target sequence
after the guess, to test for precognition.

The number of correct guesses are
then compared with the number to be
expected on the basis of chance alone
(the ‘null hypothesis’) and the antichance odds calculated. On.the null
hypothesis, it would be expected that
as the number of ‘runs’ through a
pack increases, so the number of
correct ‘guesses’ would tend toward&
the chance level, i. e. 5. A subject
scoring 6,7,8 ‘hits’ over half a
dozen or so runs is statistically insignificant; but if the number of
runs is in the hundreds, then the
improbability of such average scores
becomes astronomical.

Psycho-kinesis is tested for by the
mechanical casting of a precision
die, the subject ‘willing’ it to fall on
a particular face; the improbabilities are calculated in a manner analogous to perceptual psi.

The most modern testing procedure, using a random number generator (or ‘Schmidt device’, after its
inventor) is:

A generator emits 106 pulses per
second, these pass through a ‘gate’

and advance an electronic switch
through a cycle of 4 positions. Each
position is connected to a lamp; the
subject faces an array of these 4
lamps, each with a push-button in
front’. When any button is pressed
a Geiger counter is connected to the
‘gate’; the next particle from a
radioactive sour~ to strike the
counter triggers an ‘electric impulse which closes the ‘gate’ (the
source emits approximately 10
particles per second, the precise
moment of emission being in principle
unpredictable – thus, the apparatus
seems a perfect source of randomicity. ) This blocks the impulses to
the switch, which stops at the next
position; its connected lamp then
lights. The subject’s task is to guess
which lamp will next light; if it is the
lamp behind the pressed button, then
the guess is correct. A modification
of this device tests for psychokinesis:

.

The randomiser is connected to a
circular display of lamps; at a given
time one of these is alight, the randomiser determines whether the next
one to light is clockwise or counterclockwise to the one previously lit.

The subject’s task is to ‘will’ the
direction of movement of the lamp in
a given direction. 3
The device contains art automatic
recorder.

In tests of both kinds results are
obtained which are Significantly
higher than would be expected on the
null hypothesis. There are four
possible explanations for this:

~) Experimental error, such as invalid statistical evaluation or
sensorimotor leakage
(2) A fundamental flaw in the general
notions of probability, or of randomicity itself
(3) Experimenter. fraud
(4) The operation of the unexplained
forces or faculties generically
referred to as ‘psi’. 4

Most parapsychologists of course
accept (4). Much of the e~idence

appears to show that the operation of
II§i is unaffected by distances between subject, sender, target; by
material or electro-magnetic screening. Randall, follOwing Rhine takes
this as not merely evidence f~r a
faculty or force which is at present
unrelatable to the effects, constants
principles and laws of the phYSical ‘

and biological sciences; but as conclusive proof of the existence and
immateriality of mind. 5
What they mean by ‘mind’ reads
like one of Ryle’s jokes:

the human spirit. .. I am speaking
as a natural scientist; but I am
referring to the same thing that I
learned in the US Marine Corps to
call esprit de corps, and every
marine knows that means something. It is a force that works wonders in a symphony orchestra or a
football team, in a nation going
through the horrors of war or the
austerity of depression.

(Rhine,1953,pp206-7)6
It is not shown how the existence of
psi phenomena would refute ‘mechanism’. It is a symptom of the extreme empiriciSm. of Rhine’s school
that they consider as high-level a
doctrine as ‘mechanism’ or physicalism to be falsifiable by such bare
and utterlyuntheorised ‘facts’ as
they proffer. It is taken as Simply
obvious and conceptually unproblematical that man would be saved ‘from
‘mechanism’ if shown to be a mind
in a machine. This is no critique of
‘mechanism’, but its converse. This
doctrine negates ‘mechanism’ only in
the sense that a photographic negative negates its positive; they are
structurally identical and interconvertible. It accepts a mechanical
view of the wC>.rld and attempts to
vitalise it; it claims to be ‘the heart
of a heartless world, the spirit of
.spiritless conditions’ – it is its
mirror-image: ‘the repudiators of
mechanism represented minds as
extra centres of causal processes,
rather like machines but also con-·

3 The interesting feature of this kind of test – as compared with dice-throwing – is that the subject is
usually unaware of the mechanism, or even general
working principles. of the device. The apparently undiminished efficacy of their ‘willing’ has been
claimed as powerful evidence for the ‘teleologlcal’

nature of mind (Beloff,1976). ( an accessible paper 5 Armstrong agreesithat the evidence tor PSI
by Schmidt is in New SCientist, 16.10.69.)
phenomena is incompatible with physicalism (P364):

‘I consider that the claims of psychical research are
For discussion of (2) see Ayer and Spencer-Brown.

the small black cloud on the horizon of a materialist
In practice (1) and (3) are not easy to separate.

theory of the mind. If there was no question of paraThe most comprehensive criticism of the evidence
normal phenomena to conSider, there would seem to
is- Hansel 1966, based on the principle of Hume’s
be little serious objection to the complete identificaargument against miracles. An early classic experition of mental states with physico-chemical states cj
ment is criticised by Scott and Haskell. This paper,
the nervous system.’ Beloff argues this in his
together with rejoiners, is printed in the October
‘The Identity Hypothesis: A Critique’, in Smythies
1974 Proceedings of the Society for Psychical
1965. Cooper 1976 argues that they ar<;l not incomResearch. Hall gives an amusing and revealing
patible.

Also, see the papers by Price, Burt,
account of fraud at the very beginnings of systematic
Margenau: and Dobbs in Smythics 1967. Not all parapsi-research. For criticism of Schmidt-type testpsychololiists accept that thc operation of psi is Ining, see Hansel 1976 and Gardner. Several critical
dependent of known material forces. One such is
papers are in the ~ Humanist, November 1975.

John Taylor, best known for his work with Url
One of these is a powerful statement by E. J.

Geller.

Dingwall, who gave up psi-research after sixty
years, partly because ‘the present immense interest 6 With his enthusiasm for the US Marines it’s perhaps
in occultism and in the grosser forms of superstition
not surprising that Rhine regarded pSi-research as
is due, to a certain extent at least, to the perSistent
‘a “countermissile” both for use at home and abroad’

and far-reaching propaganda put out by the paraagainst t~ menace of the ‘communist block of
psychologiSts.’ He further remarks that ‘After sixty
nations’. ‘Ibis is in ‘Why National Defence Ignores
years experience and personal acquaintance with
Parapsychology’ (Rhine 1957); where he states that;
most of the leading parapsychologists of that period,
‘If the present-day facts of parapsychology had been
I do not think I cOuld name half a dozen whom 1 could
well known before Marx and Lenin, materialism
call objective students who honestly wished to diswould have been disqualified in the west as well as
cover the truth’ (ppI81-2). Rhine discusses ~e
in Russia. .. Logically, tht>n it would seem that
issue of fraud’and the possibility of fraud – prod
some defence agency should long ago have focussed
evidence in his 1974a, 1974b and 1975. The last two
on this y~ science already proCerrillj;t the anticentre on the resignation of his successor as hlfad of
dote to communIsm which the free “‘orId doapcrately
a research tDsutute, after being discovered faking
needs.’ (pp247-8). One wonders whether ‘scme
an experiment
deferice agency’ took his advice:

43

siderably different from them …

minds had to be described by the
mere negatives of the specific descriptions given to bodies … Minds
are not bits of clockwork, they are
just bits of not-clockwork. ‘ (Ryle
p21). It is ironic that Ryle’s
‘paramechanism’ is offered as an
account of mind by the parapsychologists.

Randall’s dualism and his deanimation of matter is even bleaker
than Descartes’, for:

when matter is not lnteracting
with mind, it shows a tendency
to increasing disorder;
we infer that mind has interacted
with matter whenever the information content of a physical system
shows an increase which cannot
be attributed to chance, or to the
transfer of information from
another physical system. (p232)
The evolution of life is a case of the
increase of order in a phYSical system, so Randall must contest the
view that chance was ;~ major factor
in this:

we shall examine certain problems
within the field of orthodox biology which should also give the
mechanist cause to pause and
ref-Iect. But perhaps the most
urgent reason for seeking an
alternative to mechanism lies
in the fact that it fails to satisfy
the spirit of man. (pI92)
The pattern of his argument is the
typical one of a Fundamentalist:

Offer a simplified account of evolution; cite an expert to show an inconsistency or empirical difficulty;
then point out that evolutionism is
‘only a theoretical framework within
which certain observed facts may be
organised, not a once-and-for-all
discovered truth’ (Randall 1976,
p271); triumphantly proclaim that
evolutionism has been refuted, leaving a gap which can only be filled by
God.

One of the problems he discusses
is that of the relation between genetic information and adult structures.

1t used to be thought that organs in
different animals, which were fundamentally similar id form and/ or
bodily disposition (‘homologous’

organs) were determined by the
same genes. This is refuted by the
fact that if a population of eyeless
Drosophila flies lacking the gene
that normally determines eye forming is interbred, then, in a few generations eye’-bearing individuals
will appear. Clearly, the eyes produced normally and in such a population are homologous, yet not determined by the same genes. Thus,
‘The concept.of homology in terms
of similar genes handed on from a
common ancestor breaks down’

(Randall p210, quoting ~ardy p213 emphasised in Hardy). Furthermore,
‘this concept of homology is absolute·
ly fundamental to what we are talking about when we speak of evolution’

(RandaU p210, quoting Hardy p211).

44

Randall takes this as refuting the
evolutionist doctrine that homology
shows the origination of similar
species from a common ancestor,
thrQugh the action of natural selection allowing the perpetuation of
similar gene complexes. He quotes
at length one of his favourite authors
Koestler (pp133-4), who makes a
similar use of Hardy: tThe traditional explanation of this remarkable
fact is that the other members of
gene complex have “reshuffled or
recombined in such a way that they
deputise for the miSSing gene”. ‘

Koestler goes on to point out that
‘reshuffling’ is a randomising process and thus cannot generate order.

In this quotation he refers to Hardy
·p212; but Hardy does not there use
the word ‘reshuffled’, but ‘recombined’ – which has a very different
force. Koestler thus alters his quote
to set up a bigger target for his unsteady aim. In these texts the problem of homology undergoes a kind
of ‘evolution’ =
In Hardy it appears as a difficulty
in the mechanism of natural selection, yet ‘I am not wishing to suggest for a moment that any of these
matters will be found to lie outside
.the process (of evolution)’ (Hardy
p208).

For Koestler, the facts cited are
part of his denunciation of the paradigm against which they appear
anomalous -that ‘homologous structures in different species are due to
the same “atomic” genes’.

With Randall it is lIicorporated
into a wholesale·onslaught on evolutionism.

What the Drosophila facts do show
is very clearly stated by Hardy in
the emphasised quote: homology in
terms of a one-to-one correspondence between genes and adult structures has broken down. What is unclear is why this is surprising. Why
should ‘the language of inheritance’

be unique in having the univocal and
non-arbitrary relation between signs
and meanings that linguistic theoreticians and philosophers now deny
to language generally? Perhaps
behind this surprise is the lingering
notion of germinal material as
homunculi – genes in the machine?

What anyway disqualifies Randall’s
use of such arguments from being
serious criticisms of evolutionism
is that he never discusses the
earlier and more fundamental difficulties which it has already successfully overcome. 7
The point of his criticism is to
show that organic patterning can only
be due to ‘some overall “plan”
rather than the result of random mu4ttions generated by a changing environment’ (p211). Consistently with
7 In partieulat, J. J. Thompson’s df’mon.striltlon, six
years after the Origin. W’aS published, that contemporary theories of the rate at which heat was lost by
cooling bodies did not ~llljw the earth the order of
tinle r.eeded fer natural selection to operate. Only
in the 1900s …..’llS it shown that radioactivity could
supply the heat needed to support the time scale of
Darwinism (see Eiseley Ch. 9)

his alienated notion of mind, this
entails ‘Some outside influence,
some “organising force” or factor,
not at present recognised by orthodox science’ (p209). This is why
parapsychology and its supposed
support for Cartesianism is important for Randall and his kind; it
allows the introduction of God, prematurely pronounced deaa, as the
only possible explanation for the
emergence of life:

Mind interacted with certain
molecules on the cooling planet,
bringing into existence highly
improbable configurations of
matter. ” the creation of life
involved the transfer of information from Mind to matter …

The purpose of this is that Mind
has been striving, Qver vast
periods of time, to produce a
living organism capable of expressing its own creative desires. In Man, something very
close to this has at last been
achieved. (pp233-4)
Chadwick maintains that the crux of
secularisation was the ‘axiom that
miracles do not happen’ (pI6). The
ideologues of parapsychology are
working to reject that axiom; in
doing so, they show just how intimately late capitalism can weave together the most refined technology
with the rankest irrationalism and
superstition.

David Murray
Bibliography
Armstrong, D. M. A Mat(‘rialist Theorv of the Mind,
Routledre, 1968
Ayer, A. J. ‘Chance’, Scientific AmeriC’;’IJl, Oct 1965
Beloff, John (1976) ‘Mind-Body Inter;J.ctionism in the
light of the parapsychological (‘vidence’, ‘j’heol’ia to
Theory, vo!. 10, no. 2.

Chadwick, Owen, The Secularis:1tion of the El1ro~
Mind in the Nineteenlh Century, CUP, 1975
Cooper, David E. ‘ESP and the Materialist Theory of
Mind’, in Shivesh C. Thakur (ediphilosonhy and
Psychical Research, Allen & U!lwin, 1976
Eiseley, Loren. Darwi!l’ll~h!!Y, Gollancz, 1956
Gardner, Martin. ‘Concerning an effort to demonstrate
extra -sensory perception by machine’, §.cientific
American October 1975
Gruber, Howard E. Darwin on Man, Wild wood House,
1974
Hall, Trevor E. The Strange Case of Edmund Gurney,
Duckworth, 1964
Hansel, C. E. M. (1966) ESP: A S~ientific Evaluation,
Macgibbon and Kee; (1976) review of Randall’s book
in March New Humanist.

Hardy, Alisl~r. The Vv!r,g Stream, Callins, 1965
(his Gifford Ledures 1963-4)
. Koestler, Arthur. The Ghost ill the Machine,
Hutchinson, 1967
Mosse, George L. The Crisis in German Ideology,
weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1970
Needham, Joseph. Moulds of Understanding, Allen
& Unwin, 1976
RandaU, John (1976) review of Hardy’s ~
God, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research,
March.

Rhine, J. B. (1953) New World of the Mind, William
Sloane Association, NY; (1957) ‘Why National Defence
Ignores Parapsychology’, Journal of Parapsycl]Q!ggy
(JPP) Vol. 21, no. 4; (1971) ‘The Importance of Parapsychology to Willialll McDougall’, JPP vol. 35, no. 3;
(1974a) ‘Security verses Deception in Parapsychology
JPP vo1. 38, no. 1; (1974b) ‘A New Case of Experimenter Unreliability’, JPP vol. 38 no. 2; (1975) ‘Second
Report on a Case of Experimenter Fraud’, JU vo!.

39 no. 4.

Ryle, Gilbert. The Concept of Mind, Penguin, 1963
ScoU, C. and Haskell, P. ”’~ormal” Explanation c:i the
Soal-Golriney Experiments in Extra Sensory Perception’, Nature vol. 245 pp52-4, 7 Sept.1973 •
Smythies, J. R. (ed) (1965) Brain and Mm!; (1967)
Science and ESP, both Routledge & Kegan Paul
Spencer-Brown, G. Probability and Sci~
Longmans, 1957
Tyrrell, G. N. M. ‘The Personality of Ml!l, Penguin,
1946

Works in progress
Qollected Works of Marx and Engels
Volume 5, 1845-47, Lawrence &
Wishart, 1976, £3
This Volume is, in fact, Marx and
Engels’ German Ideology (together
with the Theses on Feuerbach). It is
presented here in a more complete
form than in any previous edition and
its arrangement corresponds as neal’ly as possible to that of the manuscript. This applies particularly to
Chapter One: Feuerbach. in that the
previous version of the complete
edition (published in English translation in 1964-5) provided an attempted
reordering of the chapter that was
not entirely successful. Since then a
scholarly edition of this part in the
order of the original manuscripts
has been made available (for example, in Volume One of the 3volume Selected Works). What we
have here, therefore, is this new
version of the part on Feuerbach
1iogether with the remaining parts in
much the same shape as in the volume published in the sixties.

The German Ideology represents
Marx and Engels’ attempt to break
conclusively with their philosophical
past by criticising members of the
Young Hegelian movement such as
Feuerbach, Bauer, Stirner, and the
‘True Socialists’. It did not find a
publisher, but it served the purpose
of seU -clarification. At the same
time as the criticism of th~ Young
Hegelians the outlines of the new
science of historical materialism
take shape, particularly in the part
on Feuerbach. In fact, this chapter
has little directly to say on
Feuerbach; instead we get a wealth
of stimulating reflections on materialism, ideology, communism, liberation, the division of labour, and
‘estrangement’ (the authors’ own
ironical quotation marks).

The largest part of the book, however, is devoted to an attack on Max
Stirner’s Der Einzige und sein
Eigenthum. Stirner has been recognised by the anarchists as their
philosophical predecessor (although
his egoistical anarchism is less
popular than communist anarchism)
and justly so, for Bakunin knew him
and was probably influenced by him.

The Marxist polemic against his
work is therefore of more than historical interest, insofar as Stirner
articulates themes that remain the
property of the anarchist movement,
including, for example, complaints
against communism. Unfortunately
the material is not easy to come to
terms with. In this part Marx and
Engels’ own views are kept more in
the background while Stirner’s text
is dissected almost line by line and
subjected to elaborate jokes as well
as hard criticism; the main difficulty in assimilating it lies in

Stirner’s idiosyncratic style which
incorporates a sub-Hegelian vocabulary. There is an English translation of Stirner; and those who have
the stomach for it could well find it
rewardIng to find their way into
these polemics.

The last part of the Volume contains similarly detaileq polemics
against the ‘True Socialists’. A good
idea of its content may be gained by
turning to Section I I I 1 c of the
Manifesto of the Communist Party
where Marx later nailed this tendency to the wall.

The Manifesto can be found in Vol.

6 of the Collected Works which has
now appeared. (It is, indeed, quite
extraordinary that with the centenary of Marx’s death approaching
we are still in the middle of the production of a proper collected works.)
One thing is certain: at £3 a volume
there cannot be any better buy in
the bookshops.

Chris Arthur

Max Stirner

History
ormystery?

Ralph Miliband and John Saville, eds
The Socialist Register 1976, Merlin,
£2.50
.Socialist Register 1976 is an important contribution to the present debate
on the state of the left in Britain.

From John Saville documenting the
origins of The Reasoner (perhaps the
midwife to the New Left) to Ken
Coates ticking off the inaccuracies
of David Widgery’s The Left in
Britain (its infantile disorder?) this
edition of the Register is a timely if
sobering review of the communist
left (small ‘Cl) since Hungary. Ralph
Miliband’s endpiece to the first part,
‘Moving On’, completes the documentaries by carefully and clearly
shOwing that there is little as yet to
move on on.

The key issue of the Register is
that of history, the immediate history of the New Left, crawling,
climbing and breaking out of the old.

That the attempt was nearly stillborn is shown often enough in the
Register’s pages. That the moment
of birth still mesmerises the left
and holds its formations gripped in
the struggles of the late fifties is
hinted at. And the magnet is always
the Soviet Union. During the sixties
it always seemed that the first question you were asked, usually belligerantly, meeting for the first time a
youthful member of another group
was ‘So what is your position on
Russia?’ And on your answer stood
or fell your whole political credibility. As for ‘your position’ on workers control, trade union strategy,
working in the Labour Party or anything of local or national Significance
that was simply read off or relegated
to division three. So the 20th
Congress of the CPSU and
Kruschev’s (not Stalin’s) tanks in
Budapest and the mentally disjointing acrobatics of the CPGB form the
focal point of most of the articles.

It is not so much that the left lacks
a history of this period but that it has
so many, so many folkloric, triumph·
alist old-husbands’ tales dedicated to
proving that ‘we’ were right all the
time – even before ‘we’ existed. The
official view, the History as Mystery
account, ‘Stalin is in his heaven and
all is well with the Party’ no longer
fools even many Party members
(big Jp’) but the Widgery Pokery of
the outer left, ‘I. S. rules O. K. !’

only deepens the confusion. With the
shapes and contours of its history
lost in the mists of group subjectivity, it’s not surprising the lefts find
it dilficult to move on, rather like
getting astride a bike with no wheels.

This is an important book for clearing the air. Though they are no doubt
dismissed by many as the Old New
Left, the accounts and analyses of
some of the actors in the drama,
Saville, Coates, MacEwen and
Miliband (though sadly not Thompson)
telling it how it was, gjve those of
us who were politically conceived in
the hectic heterodoxy of the climate
they helped to engender some clue to
our parentage. Some clue about the
claustrophobic orthodoxy of the
Marxist hegemony of the Party, its
‘democratic’ centralism, the relations of workers and intellectuals,
and as always the multi-headed
dialectic of Revisionist Reformism.

For the left to move on instead of
moving around this is vital first hand
evidence and sober history. Putting
wheels on the bicycle, creating or
nourishing the institutions and organisations of proletarian power is what
the left is about and this edition of
the Register is an invaluable guide
to what in many ways looks like the
scrapyard we have inherited.

However while it is the modesty of
the project of the editors and contributors which give the Register its
solid strength as the hardy annual
of the unpartied partisans of the left
it is also perhaps its weakness. In a

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
car?

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.

46

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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

“eth.rlend.

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