To Reflect

‘Economics opened to human science a domain previously inaccessible and never thought of.’

– Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. (Context)

‘..the Austrians recognize that the relationship between cause and effect is not a quantitative relationship.’

– Roger Garrison (Context)

‘..a readier understanding and that the “language” of means and ends will come to be recognized as a legitimate medium in which to express human thought about action.’

– Ludwig M. Lachmann (Context)

‘Hence, by focusing on individual action, on choice and demand for money, Mises not only was able to integrate the theory of money with the Austrian theory of value and price; he transformed monetary theory from an unrealistic and distorted concentration on mechanistic relations between aggregates, to one consistent with the theory of individual choice.’

– Murray N. Rothbard (Context)

‘..the fundamental point that all human actions are determined by the individuals’ values and ideas, a “praxeological” insight at the heart of Misesian thought..’

– Murray N. Rothbard (Context)

‘The fundamental axiom, then, for the study of man is the existence of individual consciousness, and we have seen the numerous ways in which scientism tries to reject or avoid this axiom.’

– Murray N. Rothbard (Context)

‘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

‘But it took Professor Kuhn to provide a comprehensive model of the adoption and maintenance of scientific belief. Basically, he states that scientists, in any given area, come to adopt a fundamental vision or matrix of an explanatory theory, a vision that Kuhn calls a “paradigm.” And whatever the paradigm, whether it be the atomic theory or the phlogiston theory, once adopted the paradigm governs all the scientists in the field without being any longer checked or questioned — as the Whig model would have it.’

– Murray N. Rothbard (Context)

‘The use of the calculus, for example, that has been endemic in mathematical economics assumes infinitely small steps. Infinitely small steps may be fine in physics where particles travel along a certain path; but they are completely inappropriate in a science of human action, where individuals only consider matter precisely when it becomes large enough to be visible and important. Human action takes place in discrete steps, not in infinitely small ones.’

– Murray N. Rothbard (Context)

‘When looking at this picture no amount of advanced academic education can substitute for good judgment; in fact it would undoubtedly be an impediment.’

– Halton Arp (Context)

‘What’s at work here is an unraveling of the entire basis for any form of intellectual discussion. If we can’t agree on universal rules of establishing the veracity of truth claims, all discussion is reduced to a series of demands followed by ad hominem attacks on anyone who resists those demands. Mises himself understood that if we are to avoid this fate, there had to be some understanding and agreement on the rules of logic. George Koether reports that Mises told his seminar students that the first book on economics that they should read is a book on logic by Morris Cohen, a book which is in fact one of the last complete texts on logic to be published for universal use in the college classroom. Meanwhile, forums on academic discussion boards filled with complaints that logic as a discipline is no longer part of high-school study or even undergraduate college study, which means that after 16 years of formal study, hardly any students are taught even the basic rules on how to think.’

– Jeffrey A. Tucker (Context)

‘Every person should be free.’

– Leonard E. Read (Context)

‘..Something which is seen .. something which is not seen..’

– Frederic Bastiat, Credit