Re: (OPE-L) Re: Hume and constraint based theories

From: paul cockshott (clyder@GN.APC.ORG)
Date: Tue Nov 18 2003 - 05:10:22 EST

But a further limitation of this theory, or at least a
limitation of how it has been used, is that it does not
admit of contradictory constraints, for example Marx's
aggregate equalities. I don't want to argue whether
Marx's equalities do or do not hold. Instead I want to
point out that some interpreters of Sraffa's theory
deny the existence of contradictory constraints in reality,
for no other reason, it seems to me at least, than
sets of overdetermined equations cannot be solved (or
they think they cannot be solved).


Could you give an example of Sraffas interpreters doing this?


Now if there are economic mechanisms that are in
contradiction (or opposition) to each other, and
strive to attain mutually incompatible configurations.
 For example, denying the law of value
is an active mechanism, or denying that there is a tendency
for profits rates to equalise. The fallacy consists
in reducing transfactually active mechanisms in open
systems to the effects they generate in closed systems.

Can you be a bit more precise about what you mean
by open and closed systems here?


Paul: I take your point. It depends on what we include
as constraints, and what we include as solution methods.
The matrix inversion solution methods that solve Sraffian
economies clearly do not correspond to the dynamics of
an evolving economy, dynamics that could be viewed as an
unfolding solution to the same set of constraints.
The difference is between a logico-deductive model and
a causal model, between modelling the problem and modelling
how the child solves the problem.


I agree with this in general, what I was pointing out
was that with a further degree of parameterisation one
can include the time dimension in the model, and end up
with a set of constraints between temporal configurations.

By the way have you published the results of your model
yet? I have seen them, but most people on the list probably
have not.

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