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The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science: An Essay on Method (Liberty Fund Library of the Works of Ludwig von Mises) (Lib Works Ludwig Von Mises CL) by Ludwig von Mises (2006-06-30) Copertina rigida – 1840

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Copertina rigida, 1840
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5.0 su 5 stelle ''From a genuinely social point of view, it would be more “social” to tax losses than to tax profits.’’ (1740)' 16 giugno 2017
Di Clay Garner - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
“What the so-called democracy of the market brings about is a state of affairs in which production activities are operated by those of whose conduct of affairs the masses approve by buying their products. By rendering their enterprises profitable, the consumers shift control of the factors of production into the hands of those businessmen who serve them best.’’

‘Consumers shift control’ not politicians! This is key idea - consumer sovereignty. How does this impact society?

‘’By rendering the enterprises of the bungling entrepreneurs unprofitable, they withdraw control from those entrepreneurs with whose services they disagree. It is antisocial in the strict meaning of the term if governments thwart these decisions of the people by taxing profits. From a genuinely social point of view, it would be more “social” to tax losses than to tax profits.’’ (1740)

Better ‘social’ effect to tax losses! What a thought!

Why is this not practiced?

“A countermovement evolved, but not from a regeneration of the discredited sinister forces that in the past had made for conformity. It sprouted from the authoritarian and dictatorial complex deeply inwrought in the souls of the many who were benefited by the fruits of freedom and individualism without having contributed anything to their growing and ripening.’’

‘Authoritarian and dictatorial’ desires. Not only this, but another dark human motive . . .

“The masses do not like those who surpass them in any regard. The average man envies and hates those who are different. What pushes the masses into the camp of socialism is, even more than the illusion that socialism will make them richer, the expectation that it will curb all those who are better than they themselves are.’’ (1917)

This work, Mises last, sums many of his conclusions. Easier to read than some other of his writing (or I have progressed) - and without sacrificing insight.


1 The Logical Structure of the Human Mind         
7. Materialism      
8. The Absurdity of Any Materialistic Philosophy

4. The Chimera of Unified Science      
5. The Two Branches of the Sciences of Human Action      
6. The Logical Character of Praxeology      
7. The Logical Character of History      

1 The Infinite      
2. The Ultimate Given
3. Statistics      
4. Free Will      
5. Inevitability

2. Certain Knowledge      
3. The Uncertainty of the Future      
4. Quantification and Understanding in Acting and in History      
5. The Precariousness of Forecasting in Human Affairs      
6. Economic Prediction and the Trend Doctrine      
7. Decision-Making      
8. Confirmation and Refutability      

1 The Research Fable      
2. The Study of Motives      
4. The Pitfalls of Hypostatization      
5. On the Rejection of Methodological Individualism      
7. Reality and Play      
8. Misinterpretation of the Climate of Opinion      
9. The Belief in the Omnipotence of Thought      
10. The Concept of a Perfect System of Government      
11. The Behavioral Sciences

2. The Approach of the “Social Sciences”      
3. The Approach of Economics      
4. A Remark about Legal Terminology      
5. The Sovereignty of the Consumers

2. The Historical Setting of Positivism      
3. The Case of the Natural Sciences      
5. The Fallacies of Positivism

3. The Cult of Science      
4. The Epistemological Support of Totalitarianism      
5. The Consequences

''The viciousness of positivism is not to be seen in the adoption of this principle, but in the fact that it does not acknowledge any other ways of proving a proposition than those practiced by the experimental natural sciences and qualifies as metaphysical—which, in the positivist jargon, is synonymous with nonsensical—all other methods of rational discourse. To expose the fallaciousness of this fundamental thesis of positivism and to depict its disastrous consequences is the only theme of this essay.''

Mises includes his opinion on what a competent economist requires . . .

''What is needed to prevent a scholar from garbling economic studies by resorting to the methods of mathematics, physics, biology, history or jurisprudence is not slighting and neglecting these sciences, but, on the contrary, trying to comprehend and to master them. He who wants to achieve anything in praxeology must be conversant with mathematics, physics, biology, history, and jurisprudence, lest he confuse the tasks and the methods of the theory of human action with the tasks and the methods of any of these other branches of knowledge.''

Wow! This explains why Mises' work and writing is so - so - fascinating! Who else will do the work, spend the effort, meditate this deeply?

'' What was wrong with the various Historical Schools of economics was first of all that their adepts were merely dilettantes in the field of history. No competent mathematician can fail to see through the fundamental fallacies of all varieties of what is called mathematical economics and especially of econometrics.''

(See also - ''The Origins of Modern Science'', by Herbert Butterfield. Complements Mises opinion on the overwhelming impact of science. Also, ''Three Who Made a Revolution: A Biographical History of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin'', by Bertram David Wolfe. Fascinating account of a founder of the American and Mexican communist parties. Why he was a believer what changed him. Also - ''The Legacy of Positivism'', by Michael Singer. Scholar's effort explaining failure of Positivism.)
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle It is the best counter-argument to the prevailing Keynesian/Monetarism theories 9 luglio 2014
Di K. L. Gould - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
Every high school student should read this essay in the last year of school. All entry level college economics courses should include it. It is the best counter-argument to the prevailing Keynesian/Monetarism theories, which should also be taught, but which need to be balanced by Mises' cogent arguments.

Like Adam Smith, Mises is first a philosopher, then a historian, next a psychiatrist, and only last an economist. If the first three disciplines are not highly developed, economics becomes simply speculative mathematics, with insufficient underpinnings to justify the sweeping and costly recommendations that are the natural by-product of macro-economic analysis.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Humans Act, Objects React 21 marzo 2014
Di MikeW - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
I finally get the implications of the distinction between objects in the world that have choice in how they act, (humans), and objects that have no choice in the matter, (things). Praxeology is needed to understand the actions of humans.

Murray Gell-Mann is quoted as saying, 'Imagine how difficult physics would be if electrons could think.’.

Electrons don't but humans do.
2 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Freedom-loving people read Von Mises 19 aprile 2013
Di Hunter Hastings - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
The Austrian School of Economics is, in reality, the American Way. Von Mises focuses on the individual decisions of the purposive human being as the driver of all economic activity. Human beings act to improve their lives and the lives of their family, community and economy. He debunks the science of economics that develops equations and models for non-existent states of "equilibrium" as useless and pointless. We should revisit and re-read Von Mises often to refresh our resolve to pursue the vision of individual freedom and to loosen the grasp of the elites on permissible modes of thought.
1 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Libertarian philosophy in Economics 2 agosto 2013
Di Henry F Bunch - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
This book is an explanation of von Mises view of thinking when involved in an endeavor with outcomes based on individual action. Economics isn't scientific thinking, that is it isn't about what you have observed, it is about what you cause to happen. Have a dictionary handy.

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