[OPE-L:4166] Re: Who agrees with Popper? [re OPE-L:4154]

From: glevy@pratt.edu
Date: Thu Oct 19 2000 - 14:43:20 EDT

Re various posts by Steve K, Julian, Andy, & Nicky:

I reject the perspective that one needs to have a standard for verification and falsification that is common to all sciences. 
Instead of asking what is an appropriate "litmus test" for different propositions in political economy, one should inquire about the specific chracteristics of the bourgeois mode of production and whether some of those characteristics (e.g. mystification of productive and distributive relations, alienation, and commodity fetishism) make verification and falsification of some propositions difficult or even impossible. In other words, it seems to me that capitalism is the highest example in human history of a mode of production in which "things are not what they appear to be". Thus, it is not the obscurant (sp?) nature of the observer (i.e. the economist) that is the (primary) problem. Rather, the source of the problem can be traced to the obscurant nature of capitalism itself.

This, of course, does not mean that there are not *certain, specific* propositions of political economy that can not be falsified or verified. What it suggests, instead, is that the empiricist method can not be relied upon to comprehend the inner nature of capitalism.

In solidarity, Jerry 

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