'Such a science of human action...'

Posted by ProjectC 
'Such a science of human action cannot be elaborated either by recourse to the methods praised–but never practically resorted to–by the doctrines of logical positivism, historicism, institutionalism, Marxism and Fabianism or by economic history, econometrics and statistics. All that these methods of procedure can establish is history, that is, the description of complex phenomena that happened at a definite place on our globe at a definite date as the consequence of the combined operation of a multitude of factors. From such cognition it is impossible to derive knowledge that could tell us something about the effects to be expected in the future from the application of definite measures and policies, e.g., inflation, price ceilings, or tariffs. But it is precisely this that people want to learn from the study of economics.'

- Ludwig von Mises, Preface - Epistemological Problems of Economics

'Traditional logic and epistemology have produced, by and large, merely disquisitions on mathematics and the methods of the natural sciences. The philosophers considered physics as the paragon of science and blithely assumed that all knowledge is to be fashioned on its model. They dispensed with biology, satisfying themselves that one day later generations would succeed in reducing the phenomena of life to the operation of elements that can be fully described by physics. They slighted history as "mere literature" and ignored the existence of economics. Positivism, as foreshadowed by Laplace, baptized by Auguste Comte, and resuscitated and systematized by contemporary logical or empirical positivism, is essentially panphysicalism, a scheme to deny that there is any other method of scientific thinking than that starting from the physicist's recording of "protocol sentences." Its materialism encountered opposition only on the part of metaphysicians who freely indulged in the invention of fictitious entities and of arbitrary systems of what they called "philosophy of history." '

- Ludwig von Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science