[OPE-L:2225] Re: Reply to Duncan (Profit Rate, Science)

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Wed, 15 May 1996 06:17:32 -0700

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> Behind all of the anti-"religious" venom coming from Glasgow
> and North Carolina is simple disrespect for the history of economic
> thought and of standards of "verification" appropriate to it.

Most of my published work is concerned in one way or other with
the history of economic thought. It is an interesting question,
what exactly are the 'standards of verification' to be employed
in that domain. It seems to me that Andrew's methodology is akin
to Milton Friedman's "methodology of positive economics": never
mind the 'realism' of the assumptions so long as the 'predictions'
check out (also called 'as if' methodology). In the case in hand,
the 'predictions' are the conclusions Marx claimed regarding
price-value invariances; as I have argued at length before,
'correct predictions' in this context are purchased at too high
a price in terms of unrealistic 'assumptions' (i.e. Marx did
not mean what he said in his oft-repeated statements of what
"value" amounts to). That is, I would dispute the Friedman
methodology both for economics as such, and for the history of