[OPE-L:2208] variables and parameters

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Tue, 14 May 1996 07:33:52 -0700

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Michael W wrote in [OPE-L:2186]:

> [...], I would appreciate comments on the following speculative
> proposal for deploying dialectics to conceptually 'discipline' our model
> building, with a view to maintaining system wide hermeneutic coherence of
> interpretation, in addition to formal logical coherence and congruence
> with the object totality:
> A. All variables in a model should be at the 'same' level of
> abstraction.
> B. All parameters and exogenous variables should have been conceptually
> 'fixed' at a higher level of abstraction.

* I found the above to be quite intriguing, but also mystifying. In
particular. I am unclear *what* your proposal and research programme is.
Could you please clarify what it is that you want to investigate?

* Does the above refer to a form of investigation, exposition, or both?

* How does the above relate to systematic dialectical thought?

* After justifying (A.), could you please explain how variables that are
*not* at the same level of abstraction will introduced?

* Please explain the relation between (B.) and (A.).

> C. The conclusion of a model refers to, at best, a tendency
> (disposition, propensity) determined at a specific level of abstraction
> (and 'axis'), and acts as a 'constraint' on more concrete tendencies
> (etc) and events.
> D That (a la Grundrisse, pp. 100-8) the empirical can only be
> grasped as the concrete, that is as the articulation of many abstract
> tendencies (etc), as > well as contingent forces.

These "conclusions", while they make sense to me, are suggestive of prior
results of investigation. What is the relationship, then, between this
subject of inquiry and prior ones that you have undertaken?

In OPE-L Solidarity,