[OPE-L:3471] Re: Re: measurement of value and shadow prices

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 10:47:50 EDT

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Re Paul C's 3461

>I dont see that it is really necessary to make allusions to quantum effects
>in discussing value. We are dealing with macroscopic phenomena, and any
>uncertainty in measurement can be dealt with using classical probability

Well first the traffic between money measurement, philosophy and scientific
thought is worth exploring even as it begins to develop. See for example
Joel Kaye, Economy and Nature in the 14th Century: Money, Market Exchange
and Emergence of Scientific Thought. Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Second, one could--though I feel not urge to--extend the analogy by saying
that the real or concrete properties are comprehensible in classic terms
while its value reveals a puzzling world which is not comprehensible in
those terms. So in the distinction between concrete and abstract in the
commodity, we have something like the conflict between classic and quatum
physics. But this is a meaningless analogy.

>More generally though, the position that things only exist when being
>measured is the standpoint of Machist/ positivist interpretations of the
>sciences that developed at the turn of the 19th/20th century. If one is
>sympathetic to such interpretations there may be a temptation to read
>them back onto Marx, but this is surely an anachronistic exercise. In doing
>so you put yourself at odds with the more orthodox interpretation of
>Marxism as a variant of philosophical materialism, which, in the philosophy
>of science has opposed the Machist/positivist position.

Thank you for opening up this question

Yours, Rakesh

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