[OPE-L:7366] "conceptual" and "real determination"

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Sun Jun 09 2002 - 11:32:35 EDT

Fred writes:
"I do not
understand the distinction between "conceptual determination" and "real
determination".  I thought conceptual determination (i.e. a theory) was
supposed to explain the real determination (in reality).  If the "real
determination" was that values determine the physical production
quantities, then the  "conceptual determination" would explain how this
happens, and how the specific quantities are determined.  "

 Perhaps an intuitive illustration will help.
There are some theorists of banquetting. They weigh guests arriving and the
amount of food going in. Then they weigh guests leaving. They "determine" -
i.e. conceptually calculate - the increases in weight and simultaneously
the total amount of food eaten. There will probably be a discrepency due to
some food being wasted. So our theorists say 'all this means is that we did
not need the original amount anyway, that was a 'detour', all we need is
the rates of weight increase'.
Is this a theory of the 'real determination' of weight increase? By no
means. That would involve going into the party, studying how fast various
people eat, how some elbow others away from the buffet, exactly how some
food gets wasted etc. The detail of this 'real determinaton' might be
difficult to quantify but it is explanatory: the first calculation explains
Chris Arthur

17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England

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