[OPE-L] [Jurriaan] Re determinism in Derrida's ghosts

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Mon Nov 14 2005 - 15:29:56 EST

---------------------------- Original Message ---------------------
Subject: [OPE-L] Re determinism in Derrida's ghosts
From:    "Jurriaan Bendien" <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date:    Mon, November 14, 2005 2:38 pm


As I mentioned before, I personally think anyone interested in causality
could profit from reading Mario Bunge's "Causality in Modern Science"
(Dover Press,1979). His website is here:
<http://www.mcgill.ca/philosophy/faculty/bunge/> To my way of thinking,
the idea of causality - distinguishing between cause and effect, and
finding their interconnection - is a very basic ingredient of human
consciousness, developing not out of legislation, but out of ordinary
practical activity and reflections about it (cf. also Jean Piaget's
studies in genetic epistemology).

Probabilistic analysis usually presumes some ontology of cause and effect,
which is necessary to identify some variables as distinct variables in the
first place. To my way of thinking, the attempt to apply the insights of
quantum physics to social science is, leaving aside pomo-porno, rather a
mystification, which makes problems that are fairly simple to understand,
inordinately complex. Obviously the future can influence the present, and
shed new light on the past, insofar as people orient their behaviour now on
the basis of what they think will happen in the future.

BTW on the new Ernest Mandel website, they''ve published his critique of
Jon Elster:

"Men and women indeed make their own history. The outcome of their actions
is not mechanically predetermined. Most, if not all, historical crises have
several possible outcomes, not innumerable fortuitous or arbitrary ones;
that is why we use the expression 'parametric determinism' indicating
several possibilities within a given set of parameters."

The idea here seems to be that determinacy and indeterminacy coexist, such
that the past both rules out and make possible certain outcomes in the
present and the future. For example, if I hit a nail into a piece of wood
with a hammer, if may be difficult to predict at all how many hits it will
take. I might miss, and I might hit myself on the finger, or I might bend
the nail. But if I keep hitting, the nail will be driven into the wood
anyhow, one way or another.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Nov 15 2005 - 00:00:01 EST