[OPE] Models and Marx

From: Jurriaan Bendien <jurriaanbendien@online.nl>
Date: Fri Feb 11 2011 - 03:42:57 EST

I agree more with Paul Cockshott on this. In other words, the two main
functions of models are:

1) In advance of having a comprehensive theory, to identify some of the
basic relationships between variables involved in the phenomenon being
2) If a comprehensive theory exists, to construct and operationalize ways of
testing the hypotheses of the theory.

In bourgeois ideology, "model" and "theory" are frequently conflated as if
they are the same thing. No doubt there are very good reasons for that,
beyond the methodology of empiricism. "The big picture" should be accessible
only to those in command; lesser mortals should only have the knowledge for
which they are authorized, and it helps the powerful if their subjects think
that it is impossible to acquire knowledge of the bigger picture, for
example because it is too complex or too difficult to understand (cf. Popper
and Kojeve on this point).

The significance of Ian Wright's work is that he is really quite an
ingenious model-builder, who at least pays much more attention to what Marx
himself intends in Cap. Vol. 3.


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