[OPE-L:5538] Re: Re: William of Ockam's Razor and Political Economy

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Thu May 10 2001 - 16:18:38 EDT

On Thu, 10 May 2001, Gerald_A_Levy wrote:

> Re Paul C's [5533]:
> > Without a causal and hence predictive theory
> > of price one can have no basis for the theory
> > of relative surplus value, to take just one
> > instance from Marx's work. I could equally
> > well have said no theory of differential ground
> > rent...

> All of the above identifies a causal theory with a predictive one.
> One can, however, have a theory in which causal relationships are
> identified but (e.g. because of the quantity of unknowns) one
> which does not claim to be predictive.

I think this is a misunderstanding.  A causal theory is capable of
generating predictions _conditional_ on knowledge of the values of the
theory's "independent variables".  If these values aren't in fact
known then one can't make _actual_ predictions, but that doesn't mean
the theory is non-predictive in the sense Paul is using.


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