[OPE-L:4159] Re: (Fwd) Re: Who agrees with Popper? [re OPE-L:4154]

From: Steve Keen (s.keen@uws.edu.au)
Date: Thu Oct 19 2000 - 08:53:09 EDT

This will be an almost as brief reply as my previous one, because of other
time pressures.

I interpret Lakatos' concept of Scientific Research Programs as being
potentially degenerative as describing the way in which Marxists have
reacted to the criticisms which have been cast under the rubric of the
transformation problem: they have forever adjusted the "protective belt" of
ancillary hypotheses in order to protect what they perceive as the "hard
core"--being the assertion that labor is the only source of surplus value.

I see Lakatos' concepts as continuing Popper's distinction between science
and non-science, though in a far more subtle, sophisticated and
historically accurate form.

I haven't kept up with the philosophy of science since Lakatos--though I
have read all the references you note below. I dispute that it is Popper's
litmus test which has been rejected. What has been rejected are his
concepts of how scientists do and should behave. I would find it strange
for any philospher of science to define as a science a set of propositions
which has been designed to be unfalsifiable--though of course adjusting
ancillary assumptions is a normal part of the development of a SRP.

At 11:40 19/10/00 +0100, you wrote:
>I ask again, a point of agreement amongst whom? I flatly disagree 
>with you if you say it is agreed by either economic methodologists 
>or by philosophers of science. See for example the well known 
>collection on economic methodology edited by Roger Backhouse, 
>'New directions in economic methodology' (Routledge 1994).  But 
>more than that consider the entire development of economic 
>methodology since Blaug's seminal text on the topic. Blaug 
>asserts not just Popper-Lakatos's general view but also the specific 
>one regarding the litmus test. And it is this litmus test, more than 
>anything else, that *has* been rejected by most people in the field. 
>What on earth is the current 'return to practice' if it isn't a rejection 
>of the litmus test? How then can you assert that it (the litmus test) 
>remains a point of agreement?
>At the very least you must argue for this contentious assertion (one 
>that is incorrect on my view!)
>PS I have been unable to solve the problem of the 'send reply to' 
>field. Any help on this would be appreciated.
>------- Forwarded message follows -------
>Date sent:      	Thu, 19 Oct 2000 21:04:54 +1000
>To:             	Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk
>From:           	Steve Keen <s.keen@uws.edu.au>
>Subject:        	Re: [OPE-L:4155] Who agrees with Popper? [re OPE-L:4154]
>Popper's theory of how a science does develop and should practice has been
>rejected since Kuhn. But his litmus test remains a point of agreement.
>At 10:11 19/10/00 +0100, you wrote:
>>You wrote [OPE-L:4154]:
>>> science has moved on a long way from Popper, his litmus test between a
>>> science and a non-science--that the former makes statements which can be
>>> falsified, whereas the latter makes it impossible to either verify or
>>> disconfirm itself--is still accepted.
>>By whom? As I understand it (I'm no expert) it is not accepted, as 
>>a general rule, by current 'philosophers of science' (it hasn't been 
>>since Feyerabend), nor therefore by current 'economic 
>>methodologists' (who tend to be some years behind the philospohy 
>>of science discipline). Far from it, the current vogue is a 'return to 
>>practice' which means rejecting the 'prescriptivism' typified by 
>>Popper and (lamely) *describing* what scientists actually do.
>>I certainly don't agree with Popper's 'litmus test'. I don't think Marx 
>>did in the slightest (nor do I agree with the current 'philosophy of 
>>science' - obvioulsy Marx doesn't). However, I'm not really sure 
>>where people on this list stand on the 'litmus test'. Fred stated 
>>agreement with Gil on this I think. It is an important question 
>Dr. Steve Keen
>Senior Lecturer
>Economics & Finance
>University of Western Sydney Macarthur
>Building 11 Room 30,
>Goldsmith Avenue, Campbelltown
>PO Box 555 Campbelltown NSW 2560
>s.keen@uws.edu.au 61 2 4620-3016 Fax 61 2 4626-6683
>Home 02 9558-8018 Mobile 0409 716 088
>Home Page: http://bus.macarthur.uws.edu.au/steve-keen/
>------- End of forwarded message -------
Dr. Steve Keen
Senior Lecturer
Economics & Finance
University of Western Sydney Macarthur
Building 11 Room 30,
Goldsmith Avenue, Campbelltown
PO Box 555 Campbelltown NSW 2560
s.keen@uws.edu.au 61 2 4620-3016 Fax 61 2 4626-6683
Home 02 9558-8018 Mobile 0409 716 088
Home Page: http://bus.macarthur.uws.edu.au/steve-keen/

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Oct 31 2000 - 00:00:10 EST