[OPE-L:4692] Re: value vs potential value

Michael William (mwilliam@compuserve.com)
Wed, 9 Apr 1997 14:11:29 -0700 (PDT)

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Paul writes:
> The possibility of demand conditions altering value is ruled out on
> of theoretical parsimony. If one allows that prices can vary above and
> below
> their values in response to demand, it is both indeterminate and
> unnecessarily
> complicated to say that the value also changes.
> We are under no obligation to reconcile our theoretical position with
> statement that Marx made if our concern is to construct a consistent and
> realistic theory of value.

1. Reality is complex, so 'parsimony' may conflict with realism.
2. Parsimony is a criterion of theory choice only within the philosophy of
(natural) science. What is more, this philosophy of science does not appear
to be central to current (post Quine) concerns of philosophy of science,
that rather seem to be oriented around the debate between 'constructive
empiricism' (van Fraassen) and varieties of scientific realism.
3. Your naturalism is not self-evident, but needs to argued for.

So, whilst your position is entirely consistent with the methodological
settlement that emerges clearly from your work, it sheds almost no light on
the debate about the social determination of values. Methodological karate
chops rarely do.

Your megalomaniac continental system builder,

Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"

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