On Robert Nozick's 'on austrian methodology'

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 23 (4):397 – 444 (1980)
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Austrian economics - the school of thought associated with Carl Menger, Frederick von Weiser, Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, and in this century, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Murray N. Rothbard, and Israel Kirzner - is based on a framework of methodological principles and assumptions much at variance with those of traditional or 'orthodox' economists. Robert Nozick, in his 'On Austrian Methodology', focuses attention on the most fundamental features of this framework, and subjects them to a thoroughgoing and scathing analysis. Singled out for detailed and critical review are: (1) the praxeological concepts of methodological individualism; (2) the claim that economics is an a priori science of human action; (3) the nature of preference and its relation to choice and action; and (4) the assumptions of time-preference theory. Although Nozick does not consider Austrian views on business cycles, market process analysis, the coordinative and informational effects of the price system, competition, and several other fundamental aspects of praxeology, his criticism strikes at the very root of the praxeological school. This paper attempts to refute each criticism made of the praxeological school by Nozick on a point-by-point basis. It thus follows the same pattern as the original paper, and scrutinizes in detail the arguments made by its author.



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References found in this work

On austrian methodology.Robert Nozick - 1977 - Synthese 36 (3):353 - 392.
Coase and Demsetz on private property rights.Walter Block - 1977 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 1 (2):111-115.
The extraordinary claim of praxeology.Claudio Gutiérrez - 1971 - Theory and Decision 1 (4):327-336.
In Defense of the Misesian Theory of Interest.Roger W. Garrison - 1979 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 3 (2):1988.

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