Fwd: [OPE] epistemological and scientific questions

From: <dogangoecmen@aol.com>
Date: Mon Dec 15 2008 - 15:35:27 EST

It has arrived here. Thank you. That was your mail from December 13, 2008.
There is no attachment as you see.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Zachariah <davez@kth.se>
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <ope@lists.csuchico.edu>
Sent: Sat, 13 Dec 2008 12:22
Subject: Re: [OPE] epistemological and scientific questions

on 2008-12-11 18:48 dogangoecmen@aol.com wrote:?
> To put it into a question whom do you rely on in your theory of scince > I have still to clarify many questions in detail concerning the theory > of models. But I am not very fond of models. I prefer rather to use > the concept of mirror. Mirror theory reflects social > structures,relations and their tendencies by generalising and putting > them into categories. ?
Other than being a 'realist', I can't really say that I rely on a particular theory of science. My views are mainly derived from a general interest in the evolution of science and of physics in particular. However, I suppose they are close to those of Lakatos and Bhaskar.?
I am not suggesting a "theory of models", rather I'm using the word 'model' (as in a toy-model) as an analogy for what a scientific theory is. Models are never 'true' or 'false' but 'more' or 'less accurate'; they can improve and we can rank some models as better than others according to some criteria. (A very good summary by Jennings, who is a physicist I believe, is attached.) The analogy of a 'mirror' is very misleading, especially if one considers the evolution of science.?
> I would be interested in what you say: "historical materialism > provides a general framework for developing such models". Can you say > a bit more on this??
I was being quite simple really: historical materialism can be thought of as a framework (or at its finest moments, a 'research program' in the style of Lakatos) to generate testable theories, i.e. models that predict observations. E.g. in the context of the previous post; theories about the evolution of the working-class under deindustrialisation; capital investment under stagnant profits; conditions for structural crises and the likelihood of their outcomes etc. As time progresses there is a growing historical record on which these theories can be tested.?
//Dave Z?
ope mailing list?

AOL Email goes Mobile! You can now read your AOL Emails whilst on the move. Sign up for a free AOL Email account with unlimited storage today.

ope mailing list
Received on Mon Dec 15 15:40:27 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Dec 31 2008 - 00:00:05 EST