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May I apply your wording to Luxemburg's _Accumulation of Capital_ (more
ignored on this list than TSS), rather than to TSS?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 03:51:27 -0400
From: Andrew_Kliman <Andrew_Kliman@email.msn.com>
Subject: [OPE-L:2919] Need 1
... But the danger is that the disinterested reader, seeing
that a debate is ongoing, will wrongly take this as evidence that the
issues have not been decisively resolved. Perhaps s/he will even
conclude that "the truth is somewhere in the middle," in other words that
Marx's theory is riven with internal inconsistencies. To head off such a
reaction, I want to say two things to the disinterested reader. First,
the fact that the opponents of the temporal single-system (TSS)
interpretation of Marx's value theory are not and will not be persuaded
has no bearing upon whether it is correct. Second, the reason its
opponents keep arguing and resisting is that they refuse to accept
genuinely empirical criteria in order to decide whether an interpretation
is correct or not.
That people oppose a new truth even after it has been demonstrated is far
from uncommon. The _New York Times_ (March 11, 2000, p. A1) recently
reported that a nationwide poll in the U.S. found that "almost half the
respondents agreed that the theory [of evolution] 'is far from being
proven scientifically'." But this is not only, or even especially, a
problem among the uninformed public. The greatest resistance to new
truths comes from the experts. IT IS THE EXPERTS WHO HAVE A STAKE IN AND
COMMITMENT TO THE OLD IDEAS, AND THEY WHO HAVE THE MOST DIFFICULTY IN
BREAKING FREE FROM THEIR ACCUSTOMED CATEGORIES AND WAYS OF THINKING.
Max Planck (1949:33-34), who developed quantum field theory, complained
that "a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents
and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents
eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
The historical record provides ample evidence of this. Kuhn
(1970:150-51) notes that "Copernicanism made few converts for almost a
century after Copernicus' death. Newton's work was not generally
accepted, particularly on the Continent, for more than half a century
after the _Principia_ appeared. Priestly never accepted the oxygen
theory, nor Lord Kelvin the electromagnetic theory, and so on."
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