RE: [OPE] Mistaking Mathematical Beauty for Economic Truth

Date: Mon Sep 14 2009 - 09:20:33 EDT

> Well, from the arguments I have provided in the past on OPE-L, it should be
> clear that I don't think there is any such thing as a "dialectical logic" (a
> system of logical rules) independent of a particular subject matter, though
> the subject matter may contain dialectical characteristics which can be
> discovered upon inquiry.
Hi Jurriaan:
OK, fair enough. I guess I should have made the question specific to social
theory to avoid confusion.

>- at best you can say that there is such
> a thing as "dialectical reasoning" or "dialectical reason" which aims to
> define the specific meaning of the subject matter by systematically
> investigating both what it is, and what it is not, where understanding both,
> and the relationship between them, is essential. As an extreme, Sartre for
> example devises a dialectical ontology out of the categories of "Being" and
> "Nothingness".

Then, the question, becomes: can these complex, dialectical relationships be
satisfactorily expressed mathematically since math (and computer algorithms)
are forms of formal logic?
A simpler question might be: is there anything in social theory that _can't_
be grasped merely through formal logic not because of lack of comprehension on
our parts (e.g. mathematical methods which are currently under-developed)
but because of the inherent dialectical character of some aspects of
social reality?
You mentioned previously the rationality and irrationality of capitalism.
We know that rationality can be expressed mathematically. Can irrationality
be satisfactorily understood through mathematical means? And can the relationship
between rationality and irrationality as it relates to capitalism be expressed
In solidarity, Jerry
PS: Enjoy your vacation and don't feel that you have to respon to postings
right away._______________________________________________
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Received on Mon Sep 14 09:23:04 2009

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