Alfred Sohn-Rethel

The Labour Process and Class Strategies

A collection of texts by Panzieri, Sohn-Rethel, Palloix, Bologna, and Tronti. Published as "CSE Pamphlet no. 1" in 1976 by the UK-based Conference of Socialist Economists.

Intellectual and manual labour: a critique of epistemology - Alfred Sohn-Rethel

Sohn-Rethel’s Intellectual and Manual Labour argues that the “real abstraction” of commodity exchange makes possible “ideal abstraction” in cognition. In a radical version of the Marxist base-superstructure argument, Sohn-Rethel claims that abstraction must first exist in reality before it can appear in a pure form in the intellect. Mirroring Marx’s “critique of political economy,” Sohn-Rethel’s “critique of epistemology” attempts to prove that Kant’s a priori categories should not be grounded in the timeless transcendental subject but rather in the historical development of human society.