Re: value and labour

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Tue May 13 2003 - 05:53:31 EDT

Andrew Brown wrote:

> Ajit has also argued (not on OPE-L though) that Sraffian theory is
> fundamentally limited due to the fact that any two Sraffian systems
> are incommensurable. The difference between the two systems
> need only be the presence of a commodity in one system but not
> in the other, that is enough to disallow any comparison of value
> betwen the two. No doubt I have Ajit's argument wrong, but the
> above argument regarding commensurability is what I think, at
> least. Such incommensurability severely limits Sraffian economics
> in two respects: at a more abstract level, the nature of value is
> presupposed but not elaborated upon; at a more concrete level, it
> is difficult to work out how Sraffian analysis can be developed to
> enable concrete explanation.

I think this overstates the incomessurability. I am pretty confident that
if someone chose to work on it, you could establish approximate
metrics relating closely similar i/o matrices. One would proceed
by a process of aggregation forming composite commodities
until one had a one to one mapping between outputs of the
two tables.

Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow

0141 330 3125

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