Re: [OPE-L] Anita's Chocolate Cake

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Tue Nov 08 2005 - 23:57:52 EST

>Perhaps we could talk about what is right or wrong with Lewontin and
>Levins rather than the more loaded term postmodernism, because for
>me they come very close to how I think.

I've read a lot. Dialectical Biologist may have been the second most
exhilirating reading experience I've ever had.  (Readers of my posts
will know that the first was HG's big book.)  One serious criticism
of L and L's Dialectical Biologist was John Maynard Smith's reprinted
I think in Did Darwin Did Get It Right? I think the gist of it was
that dialectical categories have been superceded by developments in
mathematical modelling, e.g. saddle points. L and L are of course
well respected mathematicians. Also given that their dialectics are
ontological rather than only epistemological I can't see how they are
postmodernists. Moreover, their dialectics being rooted in nature,
how could they be similar to Derridean concerns about differance in
and through language? And perhaps their ontologizing of dialectics is
a problem.?
I don't know, but I think Steven's suggestion is an excellent one.
OPE-L'ers should know that the chapters on methodology in his book on
Indian modes of production are quite excellent, very well written in
that way when one truly has something new and important to say. But
alas I have not yet unpacked my books.

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