Form, Material Transformations and Substance in Marxian Theory of Commodity. Proposals for a Semiotic Reading
This contribution intends to outline a semiotic reading of the Marxian categories of “Form”, “Matter” and “Substance”. More specifically, an attempt will be made to show how “Substance of Value” – as defined by Marx – is the result of a process of transformation – or translation -- of different materials through certain Forms. To do this, it is proposed to read the Marxian theory of the commodity as a “scientific discourse” – understood in a Greimasian sense –, identifying its transformations on both the logical-semantic level (deep level) and the narrative level (surface level). Finally, an attempt will be made to show how, in Marxian theory, the relationship between “Form”, “Matter” and “Substance” generates a specific “meaning effect”.