Alexander Douglas

I don’t often have the opportunity to publicly engage in general speculation about our economic future. I hope you don’t mind my using this event as such an opportunity. Everything I say below is offered as a mere speculation, whose establishment would depend on a great deal of…


Justin Smith wrote a fairly critical blog post on René Girard to which I feel moved to reply. A lot of it attacks Girard’s appeal in Silicon Valley, which I don’t know much about. But the post also criticises Girard’s theory itself. …


In the last post I questioned G.A. Cohen’s critique of the Labour Theory of Value, which comes in two parts: (1) the LTV involves a mistaken idea that labour creates value; (2) Marx’s theory of exploitation can be retained without the LTV.

These have been taken as established by some…


As I was writing on Marx on value, a few analytic political philosophers recommended this essay to me: G.A. Cohen’s “The Labor Theory of Value and the Concept of Exploitation”.

I puzzled over it for a while, but I think it must be wrong, at least on one central point…


In 1932 L. Susan Stebbing gave a wonderful presentation to the Aristotelian Society, on ‘The Method of Analysis in Metaphysics’.

In it, she begins with a number of accurate historical statements, for example that J.M.E. McTaggart was ‘the greatest deductive philosopher of this century (and […] the greatest since Spinoza)’…


Medieval philosophers spoke of words being ‘imposed’ for things, either directly or by way of the ideas of things. When we acquire language, we learn which words are imposed for which things. It is as if we begin by encountering the things and then wonder what they are called. …


In his Ethics, Spinoza often discusses how our emotions lead us to ‘strive to imagine’ various things. We strive to imagine things that affect us with joy (3p12) and things that exclude the existence of what causes us sadness (3p13). …


The University of the West of England has announced a plan to close its BA Philosophy programme, halting student recruitment for the 2020/21 academic year.

As far as I can tell, there isn’t any stated financial reason for closing the programme, and the strategic reasons for it are very much…


V is for Value

This is the third in a series of posts where I think out loud about Marx’s theory of value, provoked by some online conversations. The first two are:

Marx on Value

Marx, Value, Surplus Value

I’m trying to understand how the way that Marx thinks about value informs his understanding…

Alexander Douglas

Lecturer in Philosophy, University of St. Andrews — personal website: https://axdouglas.com/

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