RE: [OPE-L]Re:Disagreement or dismissal?[was:commodities/services]

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@CLASSIC.MSN.COM)
Fri, 6 Feb 98 16:27:49 UT

A response to the PIAF:

From: on behalf of Gerald Levy
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 1998 5:09 PM
Cc: multiple recipients of list
Subject: [OPE-L]Re:Disagreement or dismissal?[was:commodities/services]

Jerry quoted Alan:

"If someone dislikes Marx's definitions, then there is nothing to stop them
proceeding with their own; but this must be mutual."

and then commented:

"This assumes that all of Marx's definitions, authored at many different times
and places, are consistent. If he had more than one definition, or if Marx
didn't give a definition, or if that definition is ambiguously worded, then it
is more difficult to say whether or not one is marching in step with or apart
from K.M."

Certainly. Yet, as I noted in my paper, "A Contribution to the Ongoing
Inquiry into the Existence of Marx's Marxism," difficult doesn't mean
impossible. It was difficult to establish that the sun is the center of the
solar system. But it was eventually established.

The problem with Jerry's statement is the three "ifs" it contains.

How do you know whether there's more than one definition or, instead,
apparently different definitions are compatible or even are interchangeable?
And who bears the burden of proof? The one who claims that the definitions
are incompatible, or the one who disputes that claim?

Similarly, how do you know whether the definition is worded ambiguously or,
instead, you just don't understand it? And who bears the burden of proof?
The one who claims that the definition is ambiguous, or the one who disputes
that claim?

It seems to me that what Jerry is implying is that "ignorance is sufficient
reason." It could be this way, it could be that way, ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE, so
let's remain permanently agnostic and let anything go. Unsubstantiated claims
are as good as refusal to accept them without evidence.

Hegel demolished the method of argument from possibility. As he noted, it is
possible that the Sultan of Turkey may become Pope. Reason does not remain
satisfied with such indeterminacy, but seeks the actual truth. It thus
demands evidence and substantiation.

Andrew Kliman