[OPE-L:5589] Re: Ockam's Razor

From: Paul Cockshott (paul@cockshott.com)
Date: Wed May 16 2001 - 08:09:11 EDT

On Mon, 14 May 2001, you wrote:
> >
> >Can we also agree that a theory which *both* reconstructs the 
> >qualitative characteristics *and* theorises the quantitative 
> >determination of surplus value (and other economic magnitudes) is 
> >desirable (if such a theory is possible)? For, the magnitudes of 
> >profits, wages, interest and rent are *extremely* important in our 
> >society. Imo, the lack any general theory of these magnitudes 
> >*severely* limits the scope of any social theory, therefore. 
> Yes, I agree about this last paragraph. Crucial -- to me -- for the
> discussion between LET and VFT is: (1) the reconstruction of the
> qualitative (for the time being VFT takes me further on this score; (2) I
> doubt it that LET has at the concrete level of the empirical more to say
> than VFT.
I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about and express 
it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it,
when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and
unsatisfactory kind.”   (Kelvin)

One should also bear in mind that the objective of socialists is not
to analyse the world but to change it. An attraction of the labour 
theory of value to socialists from Owen onwards is that it provides an
alternative way to perform economic calculation without recourse to
money, that 'power to command others'.

 > Andrew:
> >At least on my grasp of it, the work of Fine and 'followers' of Fine 
> >also develops such a two-fold grasp of the CMP (though it does it 
> >in a different way to Fred).
> About Ben Fine: both Michael Williams and I have been students of him (that
> is how we met). He and Laurence Harris have had a great impact on me (you
> can also see that in the references in *Value-Form and the State*).
> Comradely,
> Geert
> ˙WPC
Paul Cockshott, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
0141 330 3125  mobile:07946 476966

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