[OPE-L:6373] Re: Copernican

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Fri Jan 18 2002 - 22:52:26 EST

Ale asks in [ 6369]:

> --Firstly, I'd like to ask Jerry (I do doubt other people are following
> this...) to check the original exchange between Gil & me following his
> "Copernican thought experiment". Some of the things I wrote briefly now
> --and I have no so much time at the moment-- would require the context of
> the original discussion to be properly understood.

The original reference by Gil (that you cited before) was in 4243.  The
discussion that you had with him was in a thread called 'Steve on the
worthlessness of labor at (sic, JL) the source of value'.   In 4244 you
quizzed Gil on a number of questions including the Copernican reference.
In 4250 and again in 4266 Gil  stated explicitly that the reference to
Copernicus in 4243 was in the context of a 'thought experiment'.  This,
at least the way I read it, did not mean that Gil was claiming that his 
theory represented a Copernican advance over Marx. Instead, in the
context of his 'thought experiment' he asked a series of *questions*
of a *hypothetical* nature.   I can see why you might have thought that
Gil was claiming a Copernican advance but a *literal* reading of what
he wrote does not support that conclusion, IMO.

Of course, none of the above speaks to the essential theoretical issues
under dispute between Gil and you (and Steve and others) on that thread.
Indeed, the  issue of Copernican advances was just a minor issue of
dispute between the two of you -- or so I thought. 

Yet -- and I think Gil would agree -- no Marxists should at present claim 
the title of being 'Copernicans' in relation  to Marx or other Marxists.
I agree with you that it is not a designation that helps the process of

Others -- if they are interested -- are welcome to revisit this exchange
in the archives (look under October, 2000)
to see who said what and when.

In solidarity, Jerry

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