Re Andy's : > Re the notion of 'infinite logically plausible > theories': What do you mean by 'logically > plausible'? This is a very curious phrase. Hi Andy. I agree it's a curious and awkward phrase. What I meant was a set of possible social theories which (to use expressions you also used earlier in your post) have the sole common characteristic that they are all 'logically coherent' when considered 'by the standards of analytical logic'. Note that there is no requirement for the 'logically plausible social theories' to have any relevance to the contemporary real world for the species homo sapiens on the planet of Earth. I would include in this set Walrasian theory which is 'internally consistent' in its own terms but (as Steve K might say) is 'bunk' because its characteristics are of some hypothetical economy which bears no necessary relation to a specifically capitalist economy. Thus no matter how 'logical' it is, it is essentially 'humbug' (or perhaps more generously, bad science fiction.) Other logically coherent social theories could be developed for the "Planet of the Air Eaters" where the 'worker' humanoids live on air! While these theories also can be logically coherent theories, these defining characteristics mean that they can not then be applied to a completely different social structure (e.g. the capitalist mode of production on the planet Earth.) The important point is that *no matter how internally consistent a social theory is*, it must still pass (from a materialist perspective) a "relevancy test". _One_ "relevancy test", if the object is to comprehend capitalism as a historically specific mode of production, has to do with the *SPECIFICATION* of the theory. If, for example, essential, defining characteristics of this mode of production are not specified as internal characteristics of the theory, then it must be *rejected* no matter how 'logically consistent' it is. E.g. if a theory which purports to be descriptive of capitalism has no classes, then this constitutes a sufficient reason for its rejection. (Actually, I think that Blaug was making a similar point in the sharp critique of neo-neo-classical theory that Steve K reproduced in 5740.) The Marxian conception of truth, therefore, as Alejandro VB I believe correctly points out in  is practice (this is, after all, a consequence of a materialist interpretation of history.) > Re discussing more concrete things: What you > say is fair enough > but I think the reason that abstract issues (eg > TP) are discussed is > because they have massive implications for more > concrete work. They _might_ have important ('massive') implications for analyzing more concrete subjects, but I don't think that there is much (any?) evidence to show that that is 'the reason' these abstract issues are discussed at length. In solidarity, Jerry PS: thanks to Gary, Allin, Steve K, Rakesh (and others off-list) who have wished me (a somewhat premature) 'Bon Voyage'.
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