REALISM, CORRESPONDENCE, PLURALISM, GOLDSTEIN

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc.apc.org
Sat Mar 18 10:21:12 MST 1995


Mr. Goldstein says:

>there are ways to distinguish between better and worse
>knowledges of that reality and that reference to
>"correspondence" with the world out there will be one of the
>criteria." Doesn't this claim say that correspondence in one way
>in which we ensure our objectivity with that independent reality
>or thing-in-itself"?

Of course it is, but since empirical confirmation involves a
finite number of cases, it is always abstractly possible that new
events will come about that will contradict our generalizations.
Hence correspondence guarantees our objectivity to the extent that
it can be guaranteed.

>I have understood Marxists to accept the Hegelian critique of
>the independently real

Nonsense!

>which is that we can only know what emerges in socio-historical
>contexts

This old red herring again.  Any pro-materialist textbook will
answer this objection.

>Some postmodernists who critique totality preserve the sense
>that all positions are partial and fragmentary and thereby grant
>that something escapes all positions.

Lenin acknowledges this too, that the inexhaustible concrete is
beyond our ability to conceptually grasp without remainder.  The
difference is that the dialectical materialist tries to make as
much sense and coherence out of reality as (s)he can, whilst the
postmodernist swindler deliberately opts for fragmentation,
incoherence, and confusion -- the old liberal pluralist shell-game
-- thinking to con us into believing that this self-serving,
nihilistic, irresponsible slop is somehow more sophisticated,
democratic, and enlightened.

I don't question Mr. Goldstein's sincerity, but this debate is old
old old and tired tired tired.  And this is supposed to be the
latest in theoretical sophistication?  I am astounded at how
backward it is.


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