File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0002, message 45

Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000 10:13:47 +0000
Subject: Re: BHA: Re: How is New York Today-  fate of [Social Science]?

A quick lurch out of lurking..

Yes the terms are transitive and intransitive, and yes I think Tobin is
right that and transitive objects can be intransitive to a given observer;
i.e. what Bhaskar writes on page 3 of RTS is intransitive to any transitive
comment on it. The terms are basically context dependent and relational. I
have no idea of why these terms were chosen, in fact, from my dictionary
definition they are verging on the perverse. Intransitive, for example, is
in the Chambers Concise as: "representing action confined to the agent;
i.e. having no object"...However, what I think he was wanting to get away
from was the subject/object sense of the two domains Tobin alludes to. This
plays some role, but for RB transitive objects are socially constructed
(nor are they simply thoughts, but can be material models constructed of
intransitive objects (models of DNA for example are transitive attempts at
capturing something of the ID domain) and not pertaining only to
individuals; although I know Tobin did not mean to suggest this.

At 16:03 25/02/00 -0500, you wrote:
>Marsh wrote:
>> I'm a bit confused by your comment. I don't equate transient with
>> Science is a material practice (just consider Los Alamos), but by my
>> of RB's work it's in the transient side of things.
>Sorry if I seem nitpicky, but the terms are actually
>transitive/intransitive, not transient/intransient.  I bring this up because
>I suspect that it's causing some unclarity.  The transitive dimension (TD)
>is roughly equivalent to the epistemological sphere, and the intransitive
>dimension (ID) more or less the ontological sphere.  I have to admit I've
>never completely understood Bhaskar's choice of terminology here, but as
>near as I can make out, the idea is that the TD is the "subject's" side of
>knowledge ("I think about X," which is a transitive situation), and the ID
>is the "object's" side ("the thing that's being thought about"), except that
>thoughts and ideas can always themselves become objects of investigation.
>So materiality is an entirely separate matter.  But perhaps someone has a
>better grasp of the terminological choice.
>Tobin Nellhaus
>"Faith requires us to be materialists without flinching": C.S. Peirce
>     --- from list ---

Dr. Colin Wight
Department of International Politics
University of Wales, Aberystwyth
SY23 3DA
Tel: (01970) 621769 

     --- from list ---


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