Coercion, voluntary exchange, and the Austrian School of Economics

Synthese 201 (1):1-32 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this paper we analyse the concept of coerced exchange (and partly of voluntary exchange inasmuch as the absence of coercion is its necessary condition), which is of utmost importance to economic theory in general and to the Austrian School of Economics in particular. The subject matter literature normally assumes that a coerced action occurs under threat. Threats in turn can be studied from the perspective of speech act theory, which is concerned with the speaker’s intentions. Ultimately, our goal is to provide a descriptive (i.e. non-moralized) definitions of threat and coercion, based on the analysis of the coercer’s intentions. If successful, we would be in a position to present such an account of coerced and voluntary exchanges that is compatible with both speech act theory and the Austrian methodology. Although we focus on the Austrian School of Economics, we believe that our investigations might impact on economic theory in general. We also criticize a rights-based account of coercion employed in the research practice of some neo-Austrians and based on the libertarian ethic of property rights.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 79,743

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Determinism, free will, and the Austrian School of Economics.Dawid Megger - 2021 - Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (3):304-321.
Mainstream economics and the Austrian school: toward reunification.Adam K. Pham - 2017 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 10 (1):41-63.
The philosophy of Austrian economics. [REVIEW]Barry Smith - 1994 - The Review of Austrian Economics 7 (2):127-132.
The possibility of exchange.Aj Julius - 2013 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (4):361-374.
Boettke's Austrian critique of mainstream economics: An empiricist's response.Thomas Mayer - 1998 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 12 (1-2):151-171.
The economics of ignorance or ignorance of economics?Paul Davidson - 1989 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 3 (3-4):467-487.
Austrian Economics and Austrian Philosophy.Barry Smith - 1986 - In Wolfgang Grassl & Barry Smith (eds.), Austrian Economics: Historical and Philosophical Background. London: Croom Helm, reprinted: Routledge Revivals, 2010. pp. 1-36.


Added to PP

3 (#1,341,224)

6 months
3 (#242,309)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Igor Wysocki
Nicolaus Copernicus University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Coercion.Robert Nozick - 1969 - In White Morgenbesser (ed.), Philosophy, Science, and Method: Essays in Honor of Ernest Nagel. St Martin's Press. pp. 440--72.
Is that a Threat?Henry Ian Schiller - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1161-1183.
Coercion.Alan Wertheimer - 1989 - Ethics 99 (3):642-644.
Coercive wage offers.David Zimmerman - 1981 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 10 (2):121-145.
Harm to Self: The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law.Joel Feinberg - 1989 - Philosophical Review 98 (1):129-135.

View all 21 references / Add more references