Re: [OPE-L] Derrida's ghosts

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri Nov 04 2005 - 11:06:13 EST

Hi Howard:

> On the other hand, there is a risk here of assuming anyone who appeals
> to underlying structure is reductionist, and that just doesn't follow.


> <snip, JL> Why wouldn't we suppose instead that for complex systems
> there may be an emergence of causal structure "all the way up"?

There "may be" is different from "there is".

"Complex structures" in political economy have to be contextualized
temporally and spatially.  Within that more concrete context (of, for
example, an individual social formation during a specific time period),
it is often not possible to layer all of the causal variables "all the
way up" and in the same direction.  That is, variables which might be
of minor importance at a more abstract level may have great explanatory
power within a particular, more concrete context.  Similarly, variables
which are important in a more abstract context may have little
explanatory power for understanding a particular concrete phenomena.

It's too bad our postmodern Marxists aren't taking part in this
conversation now.  This thread might be seen as an opportunity --
a  "postmodern moment", a "learning moment."

In solidarity, Jerry

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