Re: [OPE] Models and Marx

Date: Sat Feb 12 2011 - 11:41:14 EST

> > Hence we can also say that the theory of phlogiston modeled the causal
> > mechanisms involved in combustion but did so poorly based on the
> > criteria by which we judge or rank competing theories: empirical
> > accuracy, logical consistency, generality and simplicity.
> What causal mechanisms involved in combustion did the theory of phlogiston
> pick out or refer to?
> There's a difficulty here. Phlogiston is a substance given off in
> combustion. There is nothing in nature that corresponds to this. You don't
> call my model of fairies in the garden 'poor'.

Hi Dave Z and Howard:
There's another difficulty: how do we determine whether a theory is
overly-general and overly-simplistic? Here, it seems to me, that care
must be taken in the specification of what the theory is a theory _of_.
If, for instance, a 'theory of capitalism' can apply equally well to
a theory of other modes of production based on exploitation then there is
something seriously wrong with that theory.
In solidarity, Jerry
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Received on Sat Feb 12 11:42:25 2011

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