[OPE-L:4954] Re: RE: Copernicus: not just a 'scientific revolution'

From: Ian.Hunt (Ian.Hunt@flinders.edu.au)
Date: Mon Feb 19 2001 - 03:49:20 EST

Dear Drewk,

As a bystander, I don't think I understand your request of Fred. You state
that prices and the rate of prfit cannot vary unless physical quantities
vary, but this is so only if the wage rate is specified as a physical

:>But you're wrong about your prices of production and profit rate
>not being physicalist.  Because you adhere to simultaneous
>valuation, defined here specifically as the postulate that
>(output) prices of production must equal the associated input
>prices, your prices of production and profit rate ARE functionally
>determined by physical quantities.

>I still think it is accurate to characterize your response to Alan
>Freeman's demonstration as a non-response.  He showed that, when
>technology is changing, all variants of the *physicalist* prices
>of production and profit rate FAIL to constitute the center around
>which prices and the average profit rate fluctuate, despite the
>common claims to the contrary.

Why should Fred be worried by Freeman's demonstration? I have always
supposed that prices of production and profit rate in the Sraffa or similar
models only give values around which market prices and the average rate of
profit TEND to fluctuate. This tendency would be realised only if
technology is constant for  long enough (Dumenil and Levy have some stuff
on the relative rate of convergence to end points for fluctuations in
classical models).  Surely an end point of a process (realization of a
tendency) is all you would expect, and this fits all you would require of
prices of production and a uniform profit rate/ Empiracal observation does
not produce uniform prices and profit rates of any description as centres
around which market prices and profit rates fluctuate. Profit rates are
always non-uniform and, according to Paul Cockshott, average market prices
over a few periods have values that are roughly half way between labour
values and prices of production (prices given a unifrom profit rate),

Associate Professor Hunt,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Flinders University

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