Language

Maksakovsky uses interesting expressions about “language” in the core chapter 2 around p85 eg:

That which, in the language of the market, signifies underproduction, in the language of production – represents near completion of the process of establishing ‘equilibrium’. That which, in the language of the market, becomes ‘equilibrium’ – that is to say, when supply catches up with demand – in the language of the system, will signify fully developed ‘overproduction’.

The expression here is quite vivid and expresses concepts central to dialectics generally concerning the contradictory dynamics of essence and appearance, perception and rational cognition etc.

This may belong elsewhere than in category for “mathematical economics”, but mathematical logic has a lot to say about syntax and semantics of “languages” and automata theory etc has a lot to say about “grammar”. Models are symbolic representations of reality and the diagrams for materialist dialectics used by category theorists such as Bill Lawvere etc show clear connection between logic and symbolic expression.

Marx also wrote in an unusual grammatical tense that expresses something like the “present inevitable” or “the inevitable future” that has a specific name I have not been able to find quickly but did see mentioned once. eg “The expropriators are expropiated”. Something like “falls off the table and smashes on the floor” as a continuous progressive applicable to a glass that is going to fall even though it has not yet reached the floor and is therefore is not “smashed” at all in the present.

Curiously Hermann Grassmann who systematized by 1844 the Universal Geometric Calculus of modern physics and economics in a form far ahead of that still taught to undergraduates today, was also into linguistics. His mathematics was largely ignored like Maksakovsky until late 20th Century and he was far better known for translation of Sanskirit Vedic classic into German. Lawvere praises the philosophical introduction to his work, dismissed as incomprehensible by most of his contemporaries as follows:

The content of the first half, after considerable study of the compact formulations, appears to be a simple and clear natural scientist’s version of the basic principles of dialectical materialism, as applied to the formal sciences. (Lawvere 95)

Grassmann was strongly influenced by Scheirmacher’s dialectics. Also known as a protestant theologian, Schleirmacher is considered the founder of modern theories of translation/interpretation.

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