This was originally a post on the OPE-L list in response to requests from list members, notably John Ernst and Fred Moseley, for information and citations on moral depreciation. I have written it up as a formal note in response to recent requests for my work on moral depreciation.

There are several places where Temporal Single System Interpretation (TSSI) authors have discussed moral depreciation; the distinction between moral and material depreciation is critical to Marx’s thinking and to the temporal interpretation. In particular, it is exhaustively treated mathematically in my chapter ‘Price, Value and Profit: A continuous, general, treatment’ in Marx and non-Equilibrium Economics (Freeman 1996a) and in the form of extensive mathematical examples in a number of papers written about that time especially (Freeman 1996b) and (Freeman 1996c). Freeman (2000) combines worked examples with a lot of explanation.

However although these papers all deal with the reality of moral depreciation, and how it works, they don’t directly address the way the question arises in Marx, and how that informs the TSS Interpretation. The post below goes to some of the sources, and so I hope it’s a useful accompaniment to the papers described above, and listed in the references.

References to the two editions of Marx are the first English translation, which was published in the UK by Lawrence and Wishart and in the US by International Publishers; and to the more recent Translation which was published in the UK by Penguin and in the US by Vintage

I make no systematic attempt here to deal with other TSSI authors’ work on this question but it’s well worth taking a look at Eduardo Maldonado-Filho’s seminal paper on the release and tie-up of capital.

The post was originally OPE-L post number 829 and it can be found at

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