Re: [OPE-L] an ad hominem response

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Mon Apr 17 2006 - 15:25:32 EDT

At 10:28 17/04/2006, Anders wrote:
>Isn't it also a huge discussion precisely what kind of logic we are
>talking about, especially in economics? Where the mainstream
>neo-classical "logic" is static equilibrium, and everything else is
>regarded as "verbal" (ad hominem)?


>My answer to Mike L. would be that is not a mere question of
>integrating some divine "logic" with "verbal persuasion". We need to
>discuss what kind of logic is at the basis of economics. No argument
>is convincing if it is not logical.
>Concretely what we need more than ever is to continue the fight
>against the static equilibrium logic in economics. IMHO no argument,
>no theoretical result, that builds on static equilibrium should be
>accepted unless stability is proven, i.e. what happens if we are not
>in equilibrium.

well, I suppose it all depends on the question you are asking--- eg.,
if you ask 'what are the necessary conditions for the reproduction of
capital?' you may not be worrying too much about the inherent
problems of neoclassical logic. In any event, this is rather far
afield from the original question of what Marx meant then by an ad
hominem argument.

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

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