Dominant in the critical comment PCMP has received have been the charges of ‘formalism’ and ‘idealism’.1 These charges have their source in PCMP’s explicit rejection of epistemological forms of conceptualisation of the relation between discourse and its objects. What is at issue in these charges is not primarily the ‘substantive’ concepts elaborated in the text, the concepts of the different modes of production and associated concepts, but rather the manner in which positions elaborated in discourse are held to be related to the object or objects of that discourse. We have argued in PCMP and at greater length elsewhere that epistemological forms of conceptualisation of the relation between discourse and its objects are untenable.2 This chapter has two parts. Firstly, we outline the structure and effects of these forms of conceptualisation and show, in particular, that they entail corresponding forms of misrecognition of the conceptual order of theoretical discourse. Secondly, we examine the implications of a systematic rejection of epistemology for the conceptualisation of the relation between discourse and its objects.
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- Discourse and Objects of Discourse
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