Marx’s methodology can usefully be described as one of abstraction and successive approximation. By ‘abstraction’ we mean extracting the essentials, not being purely theoretical or divorced from reality. The process of successive approximation does not really mean moving closer to a better ‘solution’, but the building of explanations of phenomena on the structure of the essentials. If these explanations are impossible in terms of modification or extension of the first stage of abstract analysis, this implies the essentials themselves are inadequate and need to be changed.
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