[OPE-L:3408] Re: Re: Gil's criticisms

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Thu Jun 01 2000 - 12:24:40 EDT

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Re 3401
 But other theories of prices, based on different
>perspectives (e.g. subjective preferences) are certainly possible.

Fred, thank you for this clarification. I am bit bothered that Howard and
King spend 5 pages on the Bohm-Hilferding debate (and do not mention
Boudin's or Blake's rebuttals) while spending about 75 pages on Sraffian
value theory and the phyrric victory it provides over transformation

>I also agree that the ultimate criterion on the basis of which a choice
>between alternative theories should be made is some type of empirical
>criterion, a comparison of explanatory power (which is of course easier
>said than done). Again, my paper in response to Blaug is the type of
>empirical assessment that I have in mind.

I look forward to reading that exchange (again).

 I also think that this is what
>Marx had in mind when he said in a letter (July 11, 1868):
>"even if there were no chapter on `value' in my book, the analysis of the
>real relations which I give would contain the proof and demonstration of
>the real value relations. All that palaver about the necessity of proving
>the concept of value comes from complete ignorance both of the subject
>dealt with and of scientific method." (Selected Correspondence, p. 196)

Well this confuses me about what Marx is doing in part 1 if not proving the
labor theory of value. Croce had an interesting interpretation about 100
years ago, which I think is wrong but worth revisiting.

 Rather, Marx is logically developing his theory of
>surplus-value on the basis of his theory of value, as derived in Chapter
>1. The relative validity of Marx's theory again depends on its relative
>explanatory power.

But in order to strengthen his theory wouldn't Marx then have to show that
it can explain the permanence of productive interest where other non
exploitative theories cannot. And if new versions of the latter appear
after Marx's writing, what can we say he has proven? We can grant that his
explanation is logically consistent in acounting for this phenemonon but
this does not seem to establish the theory's *relative* validity over its
rivals. This is my concern.

Yours, Rakesh

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