Certainly Not! A Critical Realist Recasting of Ludwig Von Mises’s Methodology of the Social Sciences

Journal of Economic Methodology (2010), 17(3): 277-99

22 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2015

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

This paper focuses on Ludwig von Mises methodological apriorism. It uses Wittgenstein’s private language argument as the basis for a critique of Mises’s claim to have found apodictically certain foundations for economic analysis. It is argued instead that Mises’s methodology is more fruitfully viewed as an exercise in social ontology, the objective of which is to outline key features of the socio-economic world that social scientific research ought to take into account if it is to be fruitful. The implications of this perspective for three key methodological issues, namely the relationship between theory and history, the possibility of naturalism, and the place of Austrian economics within the discipline of economics as a whole, are brought out.

Keywords: Austrian economics; Ludwig von Mises; praxeology; private language

JEL Classification: A10, B00, B20, B29, B31

Suggested Citation

Lewis, Paul Andrew, Certainly Not! A Critical Realist Recasting of Ludwig Von Mises’s Methodology of the Social Sciences (2010). Journal of Economic Methodology (2010), 17(3): 277-99. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2544255

Paul Andrew Lewis (Contact Author)

King's College London ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/politicaleconomy/people/academic/lewis.aspx

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