Determinate/ etc

Ron Press anclondon at
Sat Jan 21 00:49:50 MST 1995


Two comments.

1) The following

>From: Philip Goldstein <pgold at>

 >      Marshall Feldman poses an interesting issue about
>overdetermination: "It seems to me that any SINGLE concept
>of overdetermination must carry a whole lot of baggage (some individuation
>of the world, some notions about causality, some notions about human
consciousness, etc.).  In short, specific versions of all the stuff that
Rorty and his ilk want to deny Philosophy can offer.  I agree with his
argument that Philosophy can't be the master narrative, but I also think
any concrete assertions about society necessarily presume some answers to
these traditionally "Philosophical" questions."
>        I think that overdetermination only works in particular contexts.
>What it tells us is the many areas, forces, influences, etc., which go
>togther to produce or explain a particular historical event, literary
>text, or other work. In other words, it resists the Marxist master
>narrative whereby history evolves by necessary stages to its final state.
>In that sense, it is compatible with Rorty's critique of master
>arratives. Why concrete "assertions about society" must necessarily
>commit an analysis based on overdetermination to a traditional
>philosophy, I don't know. Does this claim assume that any concrete
>analysis is always anti-relativist? anti-skeptical? e.g., foundational?

>Philip GOldstein

This reminds me of so called "Chaos Theory". If one approached the analysis of the physical world using linear mathematical analysis, then the answer is applicable to a limited number of situations and the result is determinate. The starting point or initial parameters being known the result is certain. If on the other hand one uses nonlinear methods. These are applicable to more complex situations and the endpoint is not determinate, not random but one of many possible endpoints.

""that any SINGLE concept"" a determinate result ( a simple analysis). A comlex situation then an indeterminate result ( real life situations).

Linear equations= single Nonlinear = Complex.


>From: Marshall Feldman <MARSH at>
> To me the argument seems hopelessly circular.

All arguments are in the end CURCULAR. It is only by going round in circles that we cover the ground and and approach the "Truth" "Reality"... whatever you call it. Materialists and Marxists on the one hand  BELEIVE that we are on the path which circles a strange attractor. Idealists and their ilk on the other hand beleive there is a something out there that knows it all and we just wander around at random subject to his will. ( It is always a male)

All of humankind goes round in circles.  All of us live in a beleif.

I see no problem. The problem is that millions are poor and a few are rich.  In this I agree with
Boddhisatva, However going around in circles is sometimes part of the process. But by no means all of it.

Ron Press


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