Re: [OPE] Models and Marx

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Sat Feb 12 2011 - 12:48:45 EST

Howard's point is that 'models' of fairys are models of imaginary entities, he implied that the same applied to phlogiston.

From: [] On Behalf Of Dave Zachariah []
Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2011 5:15 PM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: Re: [OPE] Models and Marx

On 2011-02-12 17:25, howard engelskirchen wrote:
> 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.
I'm not sufficiently familiar with the phlogiston theory of combustion,
but the entity was part of a theory of the causal mechanisms behind

> There is nothing in nature that corresponds to this. You don't
> call my model of fairies in the garden 'poor'.
As Jerry pointed out, this is not a theory of anything. You could
perhaps propose a theory of the growth of garden plants that involved
some entity called 'fairy'. In relation to competing theories, I would
call it 'poor'.

//Dave Z
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Received on Sat Feb 12 12:50:35 2011

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