ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Not Mere Quibbles

This is with reference to Deepak Malghan’s comment (EPW, 19 December 2009) on my review of Jayanta Bandyopadhyay’s book. My comments are as f ollows: (1) I am very grateful to Malghan for his generous reference to my writings, but a bit chagrined that he thinks that while being generally appreciative of the book, I have “picked up some quibbles with the author”. I thought that I was raising some serious issues for the author’s consideration, particularly with reference to his seeking a route to holism through economics.

This is with reference to Deepak Malghan’s comment (EPW, 19 December 2009) on my review of Jayanta Bandyopadhyay’s book. My comments are as f ollows: (1) I am very grateful to Malghan for his generous reference to my writings, but a bit chagrined that he thinks that while being generally appreciative of the book, I have “picked up some quibbles with the author”. I thought that I was raising some serious issues for the author’s consideration, particularly with reference to his seeking a route to holism through economics. (2) Malghan regards my point about “stock” and “flow” as the most important of my interventions. I thought of it as a relatively minor point. (3) I did not suggest that there was no connection between the stock/fl ow distinction and the reductionism/holism distinction, nor was I questioning the importance of the former. I was merely asking whether the former was the most important element in the latter, and whether the two could be equated, i e, treated as different ways of saying the same thing. My query was more in the nature of an expression of puzzlement than a criticism. Having said that, I gratefully take note of Malghan’s elaboration of the stock/fl ow point and the enormous signifi cance that he attaches to it. I am not wholly persuaded by it, but will refrain from entering into a debate on it without further refl ection.

Ramaswamy R Iyer

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