Re Gil's 6399: >Oh, well, if *that's* the standard, how "useful" does your brother the real >capitalist entrepreneur find the Marxian "law of value" to be? I'll ask him as soon as we, perhaps collectively, reach a critical agreement about what is the "law of value"! I think the citations show that there is no clear statement by Marx of the concept --thanks for the additional references! I'll post another interesting piece later. As per the "uselfulness" of the theory as standard, it's an interesting matter in itself. However, the problem of Micro texbooks is not only this. They are, broadly speaking, "unplausible" (is this English?) constructions. If you open The Origin of Species, the world Darwin describes is, prima facie, a plausible description of the biological world. If you open Capital, the world Marx speaks about is a plausible -not necessarily correct- but plausible, description of capitalism. If you open Lancaster's book, this is not true. You need "fundamental presumptions" which turn the matter just incredible: nobody goes in the world with "cotingent plans as to how they would behave in all market circumstances and that all prices within the range of variation that is likely to occur". So, you no need a PhD in Epistemology to see that the whole construction is a "transliteration" of some optimization techniques, creating, ex post, a "world" that in fact does not exist --it's not a historical reality-- by means of unplausible "fundamental assumptions". Although that "world" doesn't exist, it does nicely "fit" with the math technique! At most that "world" corresponds to certain hidden philosophical and controversial speculations about "human nature" (Benthamism, for example). So, it's an inversion of the process of knowdledge acquisition: instead of observing and describing the real world (as, Darwin or Marx does) we have an ideal, "philosophical" construction presented in applied math terms. Whatever thing does not fit with this (e.g. *money*, the State, *time* --because everything has to happen instantly-- etc.) is carefully cut off the picture by means of ad hoc "assumptions". How far can we go with this? A.
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