[OPE-L:5514] Re: Re: William of Ockam's Razor and Political Economy

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Tue May 08 2001 - 04:25:27 EDT

Hello Nicky,

On 8 May 2001, at 15:28, nicola taylor wrote:

> Some of us will never be
> convinced that language/theory/fact can be anything other than a
> construction/reconstruction in thought, a product of the 'thinking head'
> appropriating the world as best it can, but never perfectly (imho, *all*
> theories - not only value-form theories - are appropriations of empirical
> experience and existing theories, and thus imperfect understandings of
> reality).

We all agree with this. But the next does not follow, indeed it 
probably contradicts the reference to 'the world' above [a reference 
which implies some sort of isomorphism, or reflection relationship, 
between thought and reality]

>  We could, I suppose, adopt a Lakatosian principle and ask
> whether the labour (embodied) theory of value engenders a progressive
> research paradigm, spawning new and important insights into contemporary
> capitalism; but who is to decide what is new, important, progressive?  A
> knotty problem in any debate.  One obvious solution, I suppose, is to
> choose not too choose: an undogmatic blossoming of ideas, a la Feyerabend
> - now there's 'something nice' to put on the banner!

This is a pretty stark statement of scepticism. If you really believed 
what you say here (which I do not believe you possibly can) then 
there would be no *reason* to do anything at all. It is also a good 
indicator that despite the many differences between Hegelian 
inspired theory (such as R/W's transcendental idealism) and, say, 
Althusserianism, or 'traditional' interpretations of value, nearly 
everyone ends up agreeing with Lakatos, depsite recognising the 
slide to Fererabend and thence forth to oblivion....

Best wishes,

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