Re: [OPE-L:8609] From Ian Wright on Weeks and Simple Commodity Production

From: Ian Wright (ian_paul_wright@HOTMAIL.COM)
Date: Sat May 17 2003 - 14:03:17 EDT

Hello Michael,

Let's agree to differ on our interpretation of concepts and
models, and also whether or not Marx made deductions from a
model of an economy without capitalists and workers (at the
beginning of Capital).

>I think that there is an enormous difference, but that would involve
>interpretation of Hegel, whose dialectical thinking, among other things, is
>attempt to overcome the dualism introduced by Descartes. It took three
>years in philosophy to overcome this subject-object dualism. Fichte made a
>valiant start at the beginning of German Idealism, Hegel continued with his
>speculative thinking, Heidegger completed the job in phenomenology. There
>always an inertial lag for philosophical thinking to ripple out, which may
>several more centuries.

I have a joke for you: what's the difference between an engineer, a
mathematician, and a philosopher? The engineer has a waste-skip to
dump his mistakes, the mathematician a waste-paper basket, and the
philsopher pen and paper.

A very strong argument can be made that the philosophical problem
of understanding the relationship between subject and object has
been solved in principle and is being solved in practice in the
field of Artificial Intelligence, a field almost entirely devoted
to understanding the relationship between kinds of representations
and kinds of things, and embodying that understanding into systems
that act autonomously in the world. I am sure that this won't
convince you iota, perhaps because it is only vulgar technology,
and therefore couldn't possibly contribute to metaphysical
debates about the nature of mind and consciousness. The joke is
true nevertheless. Things have really moved on since Heidegger.
Due to the division of intellectual labour there are always lags, as
you say, but in this instance the engineers, being much closer to
the problem, have stolen a march on the philosophers.

But I don't think it would be fruitful to enter into a debate about
philosophy, particularly as the focus here is political economy.
However, if you think that I'm labouring under some philosophical
errors, which will affect my work in political economy, and if you
suggest some concrete examples of such errors then progress can
be made. I won't be much persuaded by somewhat abstract criticisms
about problems of subject-object dualism, or suggestions that I'm
replicating a flawed "Cartesian" paradigm. Rakesh thinks that a
pure SCE never existed, and futher that a SCE is not a logically
possible state-of-affairs. What is your objection to simple
commodity models?


Protect your PC - get VirusScan Online

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue May 20 2003 - 00:00:01 EDT