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
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
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