File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1999/bhaskar.9907, message 42

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 17:12:51 +0100
Subject: Re: BHA: test

Hi hans,

I hope the quip about Stalin is a joke. My enrobing myself as Popper
certainly was; what a thought!). And whatever the current fashionscape I am
apt to give Lenin more credit than he currently gets whatever the
associations with uncle Joe.

Anyway I don't have a jot of disagreement with your analysis of rain what I
am less convinced of (well I'm actually playing devils advocate really) is
why these processes you describe can be called dialectical. Now, an awful
lot hangs on what one means by dialectical here, and I suppose if we mean
simply any process which is constituted by both absence and presence then
yes these are dialectical. 

All this does not imply that science
>is impossible, on the contrary, if this coarseness and
>indeterminacy were absent, then science would be impossible.

and unnecessary.

 I guess I am
>arguing that whenever there is emergence, dialectics is
>involved.  Is that your understanding too?

Well this and more probably, but just to return to my original question how
does this analysis of being help us resolve statements of logical
contradication? Well, in a sense we can refer to the statements to the
court of being and stick our hand out of the window (or in the case of that
damn cat in a box open it and see). Normally we will get a fairly
straightforward answer. Now, in the transition states it may well be the
case that it is both raining and not raining (well not much anyway - a few
spots maybe), but here we would not be better to rephrase our description
in terms of "it's starting to rain", or perhaps "the rain is stopping"
depending on context? Even if we have no way of yet knowing whether this
"starting to" will be resolved into a "is raining" or an "is not raining"
(Bhaskar's appeal to Berlin and descriptive evaulation?) i.e. through an
analysis of being and a reformulation of our statements of it - that is an
explicit recognition of the relationship of non-identity between ID and TD. 

Of course, this empirical method will only suffice for a very limited range
of problems and we are going to have to search in terms of depth for more
substantive answers.  

Anyway uncle Joe, I think we both agree that wherever the resolution of
contradications resides it won't be a simple matter (whether in dialectical
or analtyical reason). And for my own part I see no reason to set up
dialectics as the master method, which is not to say that it may not be

Sometimes I get the feeling, not from you BTW, that RB has a triumphalist
view on Dialectics as some kind of master method, but this could be my
(mis)reading of the situation. I'm just a little sceptical of all master


Dr. Colin Wight
Department of International Politics
University of Wales
telephone: +44 (0)1970-621769
fax      : +44 (0)1970-622709

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