The nature of produced nature: materiality and knowledge construction in Marxism
This paper reflects upon the progress and prospects of the "production of nature' thesis within Marxist geography. Pivoting around a distinction made by George Canguihelm between "theories' and "concepts,' the argument is two-fold. First, it is suggested that Marxist geographical accounts of produced nature underplay the materiality of produced nature. A general theoretical account is then presented wherein historical materialist concepts can register the materiality of produced nature. Second, it is suggested that Marxist geographical accounts of produced nature insufficiently problematize the concept of nature deployed within their theoretical-explanatory frameworks. A discussion of "cultural studies of science' is then presented in order to problematize that conception. In the final part of the paper an attempt is made to reconcile the ontological realism of the first part and epistemological skepticism of the second by arguing that Marxist geographers must see produced nature as simultaneously a constellation of ontologically real and yet epistemologically-conceptually "fixed' entities.