[OPE-L:3046] Re: empirical verification of interpretations of Marx?

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 07:37:54 EDT

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At 07:46 05/05/00 -0400, you wrote:
>For some time, Andrew K and others have claimed that there needs to
>be some way of emprically verifying or falsifying different
>interpretations of Marx. I don't think there has been much response
>to this claim. So can we discuss the general issue?

This seems to be a misuse of the term empirical verification.
To me that entails comparing a theory with data in the real world.

What seems to be involved here is hermeneutics. There is in principle
a means of doing what Andrew wants, on could in principle use the
idea of the minimum description length required to derive a
a body of text and treat this minimum description as the 'core
concept' or theory behind the text. In practice, however, it
seems hopeless to attempt such a procedure on such a large
body of text.

A good summary of the relevant theory is given in
Minimum Description Length Induction, by Vitanyi and Li in
Trans Information Theory Vol 46.

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