What is Extreme About Mises’ Extreme Apriorism?

Journal of Economic Methodology, 2017

Center for the History of Political Economy Working Paper No. 2016-23

39 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2016 Last revised: 19 Dec 2018

See all articles by Scott Scheall

Scott Scheall

Arizona State University, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, Faculty of Social Science; Arizona State University (ASU) - Center for the Study of Economic Liberty

Date Written: August 8, 2016

Abstract

There is something extreme about Mises’ apriorism, namely, his epistemological justification of the a priori element(s) of economic theory. His critics have long recognized and attacked the extremeness of Mises’ epistemology of a priori knowledge. However, several of his defenders have glossed or ignored what is (and what has long been recognized by his critics to be) extreme about Mises’ apriorism. Thus, the argument is directed less against Mises than those contributions to the secondary literature that assert his methodological moderation while glossing or plainly ignoring what the most prominent critics have found extreme about Mises’ apriorism. Defending Mises as a merely moderate apriorist because he held only a narrow part of the foundation of economics to be a priori is a straw-man defense against criticisms of his apriorism as epistemologically extreme.

Keywords: Ludwig von Mises, Austrian Economics, Methodology, Apriorism

JEL Classification: B25, B31, B41, B53

Suggested Citation

Scheall, Scott, What is Extreme About Mises’ Extreme Apriorism? (August 8, 2016). Journal of Economic Methodology, 2017; Center for the History of Political Economy Working Paper No. 2016-23 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2820203 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2820203

Scott Scheall (Contact Author)

Arizona State University, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, Faculty of Social Science ( email )

7001 E. Williams Field Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85212
United States

Arizona State University (ASU) - Center for the Study of Economic Liberty

United States

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