File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0002, message 52

Subject: BHA: RE: Re: How is New York Today- fate of [Social Science]?
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 09:23:58 -0000

Hi Tobin

Like Tobin I'm still troubled by the choice of transitive/intransitive, but
not fixated on this, because once you go through RB, how he is using the
terms and what he means by them is pretty clear.

The context dependent and relational form of these terms is very clear in
Tobin's example, because note also how X and Y and their beliefs, wants,
dispositions etc., are intransitive to Tobin's account of them, even if
Tobin has to "get inside" (in a way one does not have to in the natural
sciences) in order to get a handle on them. So although social objects are
concept-dependent (i.e. perhaps violating some strong realist criteria) they
are still intransitive to any putative observer. Note also how once Tobin
begins to conceptualise what is going on with X and Y we have transitive
objects (i.e. Tobin's ruminations). Thus we have the minimal possible
conditions for a science of society; intransitive objects and transitive
objects :
=================================Dr. Colin Wight
Department of International Politics
University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Tel: 01970 621769

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