Rejoinder to Hoppe on Indifference
The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 52-59, 2009
8 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2011
Date Written: July 5, 2011
Hoppe (2005, p. 87) quite properly starts out his analysis of indifference with a magnificent quote from Rothbard (1997, pp. 225-226) on this subject:
Indifference can never be demonstrated by action. Quite the contrary. Every action necessarily signifies a choice, and every choice signifies a definite preference. Action specifically implies the contrary of indifference. . . . If a person is really indifferent between two alternatives, then he cannot and will not choose between them. Indifference is therefore never relevant for action and cannot be demonstrated in action.
I fully agree with Hoppe’s (2005, ibid.) assessment that “This seems to be undeniable, and any attempt to explain why one choses [sic] to do x rather than y with reference to indifference rather than preference strikes one as a logical absurdity, a ‘category mistake.’”
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