Authors
Scott Scheall
Arizona State University
Abstract
The paper aims to establish that Terence Hutchison’s argument in The Politics and Philosophy of Economics (1981) to the effect that the young F.A. Hayek maintained a methodological position markedly similar to that of Ludwig von Mises fails to establish the relevant conclusion. The first problem with Hutchison’s argument is that it is not clear exactly what conclusion he meant to establish with regard to the methodological views of the two paragons of 20th century Austrian economics. Mises (in)famously maintained a rather extreme methodological apriorism. However, Hutchison’s argument does not support the claim that Hayek was ever an apriorist of the Misesian variety. The concept of a priori knowledge that emerges from Hayek’s epistemology – specifically the epistemology implied by Hayek’s work in theoretical psychology – is the direct opposite of Mises’ treatment of a priori knowledge. Simply stated, Hayek conceived of a priori knowledge as fallible and relative, while Mises considered a priori knowledge to be infallible and absolute. Thus, it cannot be maintained – if, indeed, Hutchison meant to establish – that Hayek was a Misesian apriorist during the years in question. What’s more, the paper shows that Hutchison’s argument does not support a weaker interpretation of the relevant conclusion. There are alternative interpretations of the evidence adduced by Hutchison that are both more charitable and more in line with Hayek’s epistemology that undermine Hutchison’s conclusion.
Keywords F.A. Hayek  Terence Hutchison  Ludwig von Mises  economics  methodology  a priori knowledge  empiricism  Austrian Economics  apriorism  philosophy of economics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Epistemological Argument Against Socialism: A Wittgensteinian Critique of Hayek and Giddens.Nigel Pleasants - 1997 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):23 – 45.
Hayek: Cognitive Scientist Avant La Lettre.Leslie Marsh - 2010 - In William Butos, Roger Koppl & Steve Horwitz (eds.), Advances in Austrian Economics. Emerald.
Terence Hutchison's 1938 Essay: Towards a Reappraisal.John Hart - 2003 - Journal of Economic Methodology 10 (3):353-373.
Machlup's Misrepresentation of Hutchison's Methodology.John Hart - 2009 - Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (3):325-340.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-08-15

Total views
273 ( #36,416 of 2,461,403 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
27 ( #30,629 of 2,461,403 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes