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The praxeological foundations of epistemology...

Posted by ProjectC 
'...the praxeological foundations of epistemology. Its central thesis was that all cognitive processes, and thus the sciences, are but special forms of human action. It followed that the laws of action were also the basic laws of epistemology.'

'Hans-Hermann Hoppe was born in the German town of Peine on September 2, 1949. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he studied history, sociology, and philosophy at the universities of Saarbrücken and Frankfurt am Main. His 1974 doctoral dissertation, published in 1976, dealt with the praxeological foundations of epistemology. Its central thesis was that all cognitive processes, and thus the sciences, are but special forms of human action. It followed that the laws of action were also the basic laws of epistemology. Hoppe would soon discover that, a few years before him, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises had come to essentially the same conclusion. This was his first contact with Austro-libertarianism and it was the beginning of a process in the course of which young Hoppe, at the time a left-leaning statist, came to revise his political beliefs. The process accelerated when he started reading Murray Rothbard and discovered that Misesian "subjectivist" economics could be combined with objective political philosophy. But he first continued his philosophical studies, developing a new epistemology and methodology of the social sciences, based on the insights he had received from Mises and Rothbard.


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Among Professor Hoppe's many achievements we should stress in particular his brilliant critique of positivist methodology as applied to the social sciences, a new praxeological approach to political philosophy, an encompassing comparative analysis of socialism and capitalism, and a theory of secession as a means of political reform. Most importantly, in his book Democracy: The God that Failed, Professor Hoppe has delivered a profound critique of democracy, as well as an original reinterpretation of Western history in the twentieth century, both of which have stirred international debate in academia and among the wider public. Other influential works from his pen have dealt with the role of migrations within a free society, and with the role of public intellectuals in political transformation processes. Moreover, he has excelled as an historian of thought and made path-breaking contributions to other areas such as monopoly theory; the theory of public goods; the sociology of taxation; the positive methodology of the social sciences; the theory of risk; the production of security; the transformation of formerly socialist countries; and the evolution of monetary institutions and their impact on international relations. And Professor Hoppe's work is ongoing: he is currently working on a major book project that will restate and elaborate on his previous work in the fields of epistemology and ethics — more generally, the nature of human rationality. The goal of the book is to provide "a systematic and interdisciplinary reconstruction of human history (pre-history, hunter-gatherer societies, agricultural societies, industrial societies)." '
– Jörg Guido Hülsmann and Stephan Kinsella, Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, 8/7/2009