[OPE-L:4729] Re: value vs potential value

Paul Cockshot (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Fri, 11 Apr 1997 01:29:38 -0700 (PDT)

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> > Mike williams
> > > 1. Reality is complex, so 'parsimony' may conflict with realism.
> Paul C.
> > No conflict. Reality is complex but one should not build more
> > into ones theory than is necessary.
> Necessary for what?
Paul C:
than is necessary to explain what is happening

> > The principle is that 'entities should not be multiplied without due
> > cause',
> Is this parsimony of ontological commitment identical the conceptual
> parsimony you evoked to rule out the 'value is determined in the
> intersection of production and exchange' position?
> > What is the due cause for assuming that both price and value vary in
> > response
> > to demand?
> The intuition that value cannot be quantitatively determined in
> alone, backed up by accounts such as Reuten and Williams (1989)
> account, whose claim to fame is that they identify more precisely that
> which is necessary for the reproduction of the capitalist economy (and
> broadly the bourgeois epoch) as a system, and the insights about the
> actuality of manifestations of that system thereby engendered.
You may have such an intuition, but it would help those of us not privy
to your hunches, and have not read your book, to give some summary
of your intuition.
> > I tend to favour the australian materialist school of Smout, Price etc.
> Could you elaborate, briefly?
I consider that Smout, Price, and Dennet are the best contemporary
materialists that I have read. The work of Price on determinism and
causation in his recent book Times Arrow Archimedes Point, is absolutely
brilliant, also his article 'Cosmology, times arrow, and that old double
standard', in Savitt: Times Arrow Today, gives a good summary of
the 'block universe' determinist standpoint.

> > > 3. Your naturalism is not self-evident, but needs to argued for.
> > >
> > Yes, Lenin did this in Materialism and Empiro Criticism.
> Without an indication of the key points in this that persuade you, this
> looks like an appeal to authority. IMO, whilst a case could be made that
> the 'progress' of economics has been largely negative since Marx, 120
> years of science and social science, and of further philosophical
> reflection upon them *may* just have led to new insights into
> epistemological criteria and ontological commitments appropriate to an
> understanding of society and economy.
It is not so much an appeal to authority as a statement of political
position. I share the Leninist view of philosophical disputes as being
fundamentally political, and that the dispute between materialism and
idealism is that between progress and reaction in the political sense.