The Methodology of Austrian Economics as a Sophisticated, Rather Than Naive, Philosophy of Economics

Journal of the History of Economic Thought, March 2015, Volume 37, Number 1, pp. 79-85

8 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2015  

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 12, 2015

Abstract

One of the big mistakes in modern intellectual history of the Austrian school is to jump from the reality of Mises's and Hayek's being on the wrong side of the zeitgeist to a claim that they were somehow dismissed relics of a pre-scientific age or martyrs to the causes. The reality is that Mises and Hayek were neither refuted nor martyred; they were simply on the opposite side of history in the second half of the twentieth century. The scientific respect accorded to them as reflected by the awarding of the Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association (1969, Mises) and the Nobel Prize (1974, Hayek) indicates their high stature despite their unpopular positions in methodology, analytics, and political economy. Critics overstate the refutation, and followers overplay the martyrdom. But there is no doubt that during the historical context of 1950 to 1975 economics, the ideas that Mises and Hayek laid out in Human Action and Individualism and Economic Order did not receive the scientific and scholarly attention they would in the period since 1975 and today.

Keywords: Mises, Hayek, Austrian Methodology

JEL Classification: B31; B41; B53

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J., The Methodology of Austrian Economics as a Sophisticated, Rather Than Naive, Philosophy of Economics (February 12, 2015). Journal of the History of Economic Thought, March 2015, Volume 37, Number 1, pp. 79-85. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2699818

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

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