[Marxism] Capital Logic

OpenSentence Type Foundry typefoundry at opensentence.org
Fri Nov 28 13:41:02 MST 2003

> Message: 2
> Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 12:07:15 +0100
> From: "Jurriaan Bendien" <bendien at tomaatnet.nl>
> Subject: [Marxism] To everything there is a shell game
> To: "Marxmail List" <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
> Message-ID: <002b01c3b59f$c8b52c90$948ce3d5 at jurriaan>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="iso-8859-1" 
> Hi brother, 
> You: 
> But apropos of Chauncey Gardiner, I think most people miss the point of
> *Being There* 
> Me: 
> Yes, I had to study Tarski as well. We didn't get Frege in courses, which I
> regret. Interestingly, it was Noam Chomsky who sought to revive interest in
> Gottlob Frege in the USA. Thomas Bayes's conclusions were accepted by

That's not really true; Chomsky actually started out as an admirer of Quine 
(which is easy enough to do; although as Richard Rorty once remarked, 
Quine's politics were somewhat to the right of Ronald Reagan and a far-right 
presidential campaign was considered at one point, he is a superb writer and 
politics seems very much not to the point) and his extension of 
Bloomfieldian attitudes is quite Quinean in its distate for semantics.  
Furthermore, those Chomskyans who do semantics do a very un-Tarskian version 
called "Markerese".  It's not as good as it sounds.  But on the topic of 
Bayesianism, which is much saner than most of what passes for "scientific 
methodology" these days, there is something quite interesting to say about 
the university in exile. 

Not only were there two periods of Rudolf Carnap in Europe, there were two 
periods in the US (the Chicago and UCLA periods): at Chicago Carnap worked 
with full-throttle semantics (such as most analytic philosophers do not 
practice), and at UCLA with Bayesian probability (introducing that theme, 
which had been rumored of in Ramsey some time before into US philosophy of 
science; Donald Davidson was Bayesianism's major tout in philosophy of 
psychology and mind, although understanding of those aspects of his work 
have ebbed); so US work in those fields formerly had a character quite 
distinct from that of British work.  Furthermore, Tarski (who was visiting 
the US when WWII broke out, and ended up in Berkeley after he smuggled his 
family out) was quite apart from this (and Frege) himself; problems such as 
analytic philosophers have with modal logic would never have occurred to him 
as a legitimate extension of his work, as he did work with modal logic 

However, it also never occurred to him that his work with Boolean algebras 
with operators could be harnessed to provide a rigorous semantics for modal 
logic in the style of Kripke's relational semantics, such as Kripke once 
pointed out to Tarski to Tarski's befuddlement; and so in the field of 
formal semantics there are two divergent paths, one trodden by "analytic" 
minds who like to problematize things and the other tripped by "formal" 
minds who like to problematize systematic representations of things.  Is any 
of this relevant to economic and social theory?  I think so, but they're 
things one must be very careful about ("rigorous" and "scientific" Frege was 
a quite extreme German nationalist and xenophobe).  But it may interest you 
to know that UvA is currently the world leader in the second style of 
research, gaining converts all the time, and although I don't like some of 
their focus (for sociological reasons, actually) it's a refreshing change. 

> Agreed. But the point is that this whole game depends totally on not
> actually engaging or interacting with Gardiner directly, but engaging in
> gossip or espionage to discover something about him. A series of 

Oh, people talk to Peter Sellers all the time in the movie (Kozinski was not 
too much because I've never felt a need to read one of his books, you see). 

Jeff Rubard 

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