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The physiocrats' concept of labour: A difficulty in Marx's interpretation

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This article explains the difference between the concept of labour developed by the Physiocrats and Marx. We show that Marx's interpretation based on Turgot is questionable. Whereas Marx bases his ideas on a Lockian definition of labour which puts labour at the origin of value, Quesnay and his disciples develop a mechanistic definition of labour established on Neo-Cartesian foundations. This particular concept of labour then combines with a bio-physical definition of production. The theory of the net product is therefore re-interpreted.
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Keywords: Concept of labour; Marx; Physiocracy; Quesnay; theory of value

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Loire Valley University ESCEM, CRESCEM, 1 rue Léo Delibes Tours, 37205, France

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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