"chaos" theory

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Mon Sep 18 20:07:43 MDT 1995

> [snip]  The fundamental issue he [Hans D] raises, is the one I
> raised last month when we discussed this thread before -- the
> methodological underpinings of chaos theory. Hans -- it might help
> others  if you could expand on these thoughts some more.
> Jerry

> Lisa says: I might be able to better address this question if I had a
> clearer picture of what "method. underpin.s" look like.  Do you mean
> something like how it's done, or why, or what assumptions are
> required, or what...?
I should have known that you'd still want to talk about this subject. OK,
I'm game. But first a few ground rules: no lemmungs, no sharks, no
amoeba, etc. As Chris B. pointed out before, my focus is "narrowly"
limited to human beings under capitalism.

When we discussed this thread before, we saw that there are many, many
different variations of chaos theory and complexity theory.

First question: what are the assumptions and mechanical properties of
*each* of the chaotic models?

Second question: what *social* subjects are best studied with *particular*
chaotic systems? ... and *why*?

Third question: since Steve K. has charged (correctly) that the
Neo-Ricardians fail to grasp the dynamics of capitalism because (in part)
they use linear algebra, and since we know that the process of capitalist
accumulation is a non-linear process ... *which* non-linear models should
be used to understand capitalist dynamics and *why*? In other words, can
a particular chaotic model grasp the essentials of a particular dynamic
process associated with capitalism? To answer this question, I believe
that you *also* must answer the previous questions as well.

The fundamental advantage claimed for chaotic models is their
non-linearity, but aren't there an infinite amount of potential
non-linear models? Which *one* should be chosen to understand a *particular*
process associated with capitalism and *why*?

Fourth question: what is the *specific* relationship between chaos theory
(in *all* of its variations) and dialectics?

Please respond immediately. :-)

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