historical materialism (was science and morality)

K d-m-c at worldnet.att.net
Sun Oct 25 09:09:06 PST 1998


>I think SnitgrrRl has gone off on a fairly entertaining tangent
>she's misinterpreted Doyle's claims, but then how can I be sure,
since I
>just admitted that I'm not really clear about what Doyle's

Heh. ;-)

Fersure. I read Doyle as charging me for failing to be a materialist. I then went on to explain the difference between materialism and historical materialism when you're working with *social* theory. Sure, I'll bet that we could utilize brain research in order to understand some basic laws of human thought and all, but as you said a post or two ago, there's a fissure between what the brain does and what the person does, all mediated by the social. I'm sure folks can prob. construct a marxist social theory on the basis of neurophys, just as folks do so with Skinner, Freud, Rogers, etc. But if I see no understanding of 1] the interpretive (intersubjective) dimension of social life and 2] historical change then I'm wary. It smacks of reductionism. Reductionism doesn't just seek to wade through complex phenomena in order to create parsimonious, logical theory, it also purports to show that social phenomena operate according to the same laws as physical phenom in order to explain friggin EVERYTHING, from comets to charisma. See my pal Hempel on that one.

>So much admission of confusion, we MUST be making progress! Now
if only
>it's not in the direction of a very nearby

No way, bro.


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