Re: Hume

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Sat Nov 15 2003 - 00:26:14 EST

--- Andrew Brown <Andrew@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK> wrote:
> Hi Ajit,
> You wrote:
> > Hume's
> > challenge on causation has never been answered.
> I think materialist dialectics does just that. And I
> base my
> interpretaion of value theory on just this answer. I
> am very taken
> with your interpretaion of Sraffa but if you really
> believe Hume has
> never been answered then I don't see how you can
> offer a useful
> economic theory.
> Best wishes,
> Andy

Hi, Andy!
Because economic theory does not have to be an
empiricist philosophy of knowledge. Hume himself did
not follow his empiricist philosophy in his other
works because his philosophy ultimately leads to
nihilism. But that does not mean that the
philosophical problem he raised for empiricist
knowledge, particularly for the implied relation of
cause and effect, is all bunk. It shows us the
limitation of what we claim to know. Now, we all know
that all sciences are predictive, i.e. built on the
relation of cause and effect. But science is not in a
business of proving anything--it is neither philosophy
nor mathematics. In some Kantian sense science simply
takes the relation of cause and effect as a priori or
its fundamental belief or axiom. On this basis it only
tentatively suggests certain causal explanations for
various phenomena. But these theories must always
remain tentative and can never prove its correctness
beyond doubt. The main role of science is to act as a
medicine that sooths our mind by giving some sort of
order to desperate phenomena--it keeps us from going
crazy! That's an admirable job and economics can be
part of it. But it is also good to know the
limitations of what we claim to know. Cheers, ajit sinha

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