A definitive defense of the methodological foundations of Austrian economics.
Hoppe sets the praxeological view (economics as a purely deductive science) against positivism, while taking the critics of the Austrian approach head on. Hans-Hermann Hoppe rests his argument on the Kantian idea of the "synthetic apriori" proposition, thereby expanding an aim of Mises's in the methodology section of Human Action.
Hoppe is the Austrian School's most prominent methodologist, and here he is in top form. He combines a rigorous scientific explanation with fantastic passion and rhetoric.
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.
I have to say that Hans-Herman Hoppe outdid Ludwig von Mises in epistemology with this book. Every student of social science needs to read this book. Hoppe makes his arguments very clear and easy to understand. Do not hesitate to read it.
Hoppe totally grounded his arguments in this book with hardcore reasoning and refutation. The simple insight that empiricism can only tell us information about natural phenomena, and not about human action, overturns many notions the economic schools of thought hold today.
Also, his critique of historicism is exactly what I've observed in the universities of the United States. It seems that many scholastics do not like the idea of truth, and thus inculcate their students with intellectual relativism where anything goes.
The use of empiricism and historicism, in my mind, are the means that lead to ultimate control by the state, thus duping the adherents of these fallacious doctrines. Hoppe, dismantles these so-called scholars' weapons, rendering their deception vulnerable and open.
Hoppe's breath-taking insight about knowledge on pg. 67 alone makes this book worth owning. I am quite happy with this treasure, and I will read it again and again. Absolutely stunning!
It's books like this that make me happy that I have been so lucky as to find the Austrian School. In this book, a brief but knowledge packed read for sure, Hoppe criticizes popular views of scientific methods in favor of a logically sound epistemology. In brief, he criticizes empiricism as logically lacking and historicism as being likewise. He then mentions the contributions of Mises to epistemology, in the Kantian tradition, as stating that epistemology has a praxeological basis. The arguments that Hoppe makes were new to me, but when looking at them they seemed so intuitive and simply stated. This book helped me to better understand some of the tenants of the Austrian methodology such as a priori of argumentation and the action axiom as being two interwoven synthetic a priori axioms that form an epistemology that deals in reality. The reader may have to study some parts carefully to truly appreciate Hoppe's work here, but reading the book is highly rewarding. Highly recommended!!
I first received this booklet I was thinking that I would disappointed in its academic rigor. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hoppe manages to pack a great deal of economic philosophy into such a brief text. I found it to be dense in nature, thought provoking, and quite a challenging read at first pass for an analytic student of economics. For such a meager price, the information within is a value. I feel it has made for a great primer on an self-taught Austrian Econcomics and has naturally lead me my next text: Epstimelogical Problems of Economics by Mises himself. I reccomend it to university students and graduates alike as a primer as well.
In step-by-step progression, this foundational-intellectual approach to Austrian Economics is a defense of the rational framework and perspective of Austrian Economics. One must be steeped in the tradition of Kantian thought or read a primer to gain the full magnitude of the treatise.
Refreshingly philosophical, yet highly insightful, Hoppe develops Mises economic presuppositions of the primacy of apriori knowledge and a pure theory of action. Thusly, he posits arguements against empirical and historicist theories because they are inadequate from an epistemological basis.
Finally, Mises Praexology, and a proper perspective of epistemology and action (or synthesis of the two), is the correct framework from which to develop a true understanding of Economic Science.
The Footnotes and Recommended Readings section are valuable and used with keen precision.
I enjoyed the book because of its philosophical basis, rather than from its defensive argumentation.
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