It's a Battlefield Out There

Thu Dec 10 19:48:12 PST 1998

In a message dated 98-12-10 13:36:20 EST, you write:

<< R: you mention that Cohen uses the deductive nomological mode of explanation

from Hempel to defend Marx's theory of history.

JKS: This isn't quite right. I try to explain what Cohen does in my paper Functional Explanation and Metphysical Individualism, Philosophy of Science, June 1993. He's not, in fact, a Hempelian.

R: But what I have not seen is

the use of Hempel's distinction between theoretical and observational terms

JKS: This is a distinction Hempel had largely abandoned,a long with the rest of the philosophical world, ceratinly by the time of writing Aspect of Scientific Explanation in 1965.

to make sense Marx's theory of *value*, accumulation and crisis. Do tell me

if anyone has done this.

R: Justin would reduce Marx's project to a series of

ad hoc explanations compatible with a broad understanding of historical

materialism. That is a lethal project, not a salvaging of Marx's critique

of political economy.

JKS: This is an individious and mistaken characterization. AT least if you want to make it stick, you have to look at what I've done in the area and show that it's merely ad hoc, etc.



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