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Economic Science and the Austrian Method Paperback – February 26, 2007
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About the Author
These lectures astonished students at the Mises University when they were first delivered. They were later turned into this monograph, which has been a staple of Austrian pedagogy ever since. The volume includes:
Preface, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
I. Praxeology and Economic Science II. On Praxeology and the Praxeological Foundations of Epistemology
Top Customer Reviews
This little work (which is a collection of some stuff previously printed) provides a good introduction to and defense of Austrian methodology. The question is this: what is the status of the laws and principles of economics? Are principles such as "the law of marginal utility" everywhere and on all occasions true, or are they empirical generalizations subject to falsification? Mises - writing in the tradition of Kant and Leibniz - argued that the principles of economics are a priori. Misesian methodology therefore falls within the Kantian and rationalist tradition. (Hoppe rejects the interpretation of Kant given by Rand as "arrogant ignorance.) Economics, according to Mises, is closer to disciplines such as logic and mathematics than it is to the natural sciences. In his defense of the Austrian method, Prof. Hoppe provides brief but useful critiques of empiricism, historicism, and relativism.
Mises's central works in this area are Human Action, Epistemological Problems of Economics, Theory and History, and The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science.
While I disagree with the conculsions, the arguments are worth knowing. The difference in theoretical versus empirical work is also a key difference between the Austrian and Chicago schools.
After the economic crisis in the U.S. and the continuing economic crises globally, I felt that I needed to understand why such events continually occur. I stumble upon the writings of Ludvig von Mises and other Austrian Economists and felt that they spoke reason to my soul.
The Austrian Method of economic reasoning is superior in my mind, as Hoppe in this short, information-packed text demolishes the idea of using empiricism and historicism (relativism) in the field of economics. I felt very enlightened about the truth of the human mind being variable and that no constant exists for the use empirical equations to somehow predict the economic future. Hoppe slashes through the scholastic drivel by elucidating how the knowledge possessed by one being must be ascertained to correctly forecast economic data, but he makes it very clear that no one is capable of doing so. Empiricism is nothing but mirrors and smoke in the realm of human action, and it is meant to be employed in the natural sciences alone.
Hoppe's critique of historicism is quite entertaining. He posits the position of these relativist and explains how they dissect history in a whimsical manner, producing the desired outcome they want.Read more ›
_Economic Science and the Austrian Method_ does a wonderful job of explicating and defending the Austrian, or more specifically the Misesian, or "praxeologic", foundations of economic analysis. At the same time it suggests a promising re-interpretation of traditional rationalist philosophy from within the framework of praxeology. Hence, these writings are not just important for economics, but rationalist epistemology in general. Hoppe wants rationalist philosophers to find strength in praxeology, as the strongest defense against skepticism and relativism. He also wants economists in the Misesian tradition to see their place in the broader picture of philosophical rationalism.
Hoppe sees three competing philosophies that claim to offer a foundation for economics. He sets up his position contra empiricism and historicism, which he finds to be contradictory philosophies that cannot provide the proper foundations required. (Please note, some reviewers have completely misinterpreted this -- historicism is NOT the same as [economic] history.) With the contenders decisively refuted, rationalism stands vindicated.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Judging by all the haters who reviewed this book, not surprised it struck a nerve. This book could single-handedly unseat modern Economics from its lofty throne of lies. Read morePublished 1 month ago by The Brain
How did this book get such good reviews?
This book just might be the worst book ever written in the English language. Read more
This stunning little book, with a title that jumps out at you, is a publication of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the voice and guardian of Austrian Economics, which holds that... Read morePublished on May 1, 2014 by Clifford J. Stevens
I was hoping to learn a lot more about the Austrian method and it's interpretation of economics. Well, as the title states, this sounded like a good start but it's simply not a... Read morePublished on December 3, 2010 by Robert Kirk