Re: Hume

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Sat Nov 15 2003 - 04:36:28 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.

Again Lewontin's point is that those limitation, whatever they
may be in general, are quite different in different domains.

>  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.

don't understand what link you are making between transcendental
subjectivity and the tenativeness of scientific theory. latter
does not follow from former.

>  But these theories must always
>remain tentative and can never prove its correctness
>beyond doubt.

Hume is saying more than that.

>  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

so the order is projected by the mind? So you are defending
intellectualism over empiricism on psychological grounds?

>  That's an admirable job

why is it admirable to soothe falsely the mind?

>  and economics can be
>part of it.

how is it that economics soothes the mind? By telling us that full
employment will be realized if markets are free enough even
as we endure the chaos of unemployment and bankruptcies?

>  But it is also good to know the
>limitations of what we claim to know.

that's much less than what you set out to defend through invocation of Hume.

Yours, Rakesh

>  Cheers, ajit sinha
>Do you Yahoo!?
>Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Nov 16 2003 - 00:00:01 EST