Blowing the Cover Off the Austrian 'Cult'
What page in your report has the "inequality" rankings?  What is the definition of "inequality"?  If in Chile producers are highly rewarded, then they are in great shape for the future.
Reply
[quote='Crusading Philologist' pid='1103879' dateline='1352420395']
Here's a quotation from Human Action:
Quote:The fact that man does not have the creative power to imagine categories at variance with the fundamental logical relations and with the principles of causality and teleology enjoins upon us what may be called methodological apriorism.

That quote, by itself, doesn't prove your point. Can you explain his position in detail? In keeping with the Thomistic tradition, you should be able to demonstrate a full understanding of your opponent's position, and you have not yet done so.
Reply
(11-08-2012, 09:18 PM)rbjmartin Wrote:
(11-08-2012, 08:19 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: Here's a quotation from Human Action:
Quote:The fact that man does not have the creative power to imagine categories at variance with the fundamental logical relations and with the principles of causality and teleology enjoins upon us what may be called methodological apriorism.

That quote, by itself, doesn't prove your point. Can you explain his position in detail? In keeping with the Thomistic tradition, you should be able to demonstrate a full understanding of your opponent's position, and you have not yet done so.


I'm not sure what you mean. The point Mises is making is that all action and experience presupposes certain transcendental categories. For example, according to Mises, all human beings have certain ideas about causality or identity that they have not learned. The fact that these logical categories are supposedly common to all human beings leads Mises to claim that economics can be done a priori. This is so because if all people assume these categories, then we can supposedly deduce how people will act in order to achieve particular ends without having to look at any real-world evidence for proof. This is the whole point of "praxeology." According to Mises, if we can discern the fundamental principles of human reasoning and action, we can go on to deduce how economies will operate by simply thinking about the ways in which its participants will act in order to achieve their goals.

Rothbard makes a similar point when he talks about a "Crusoe economics" in The Ethics of Liberty. Rothbard argues that if we imagine a man alone on an island, we can figure out how he will act in order to achieve his goals because he will be acting in accord with the categories presupposed by all human action. If we then add in more actors, we can figure out how they will act and how our Crusoe will respond. So, the whole idea behind Austrian economics is that we can use the principles of human action in order to figure out how the economy works and how it will respond to various policies and events.
Reply
What page has the Chile inequality rank?
Reply
(11-08-2012, 10:12 PM)James02 Wrote: What page has the Chile inequality rank?

53
Reply
Is it the Gini coeff?  If that's the case, supposedly Jamaica is the goal.  Ridiculous.  Yeah, everyone is equally starving to death.  Even Mexico is "higher" ranked than Chile.  I'd rather live in Chile over Mexico any day.  And Chile is supposedly higher ranked than Switzerland.

Shows that this ranking is not worth much on its own.  So for example, Switzerland, where their poor are "rich" by most standards, has a poor ranking because it is home to very productive people who make a lot of money.  Whereas Jamaica is very equal, but everyone is broke.

edit:  To answer my question, Greece in 2008 was marked "better" than Chile.  So the moral of the story is move to countries with income inequality, or your country will implode from lack of production.
Reply
(11-08-2012, 10:07 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: I'm not sure what you mean. The point Mises is making is that all action and experience presupposes certain transcendental categories. For example, according to Mises, all human beings have certain ideas about causality or identity that they have not learned. The fact that these logical categories are supposedly common to all human beings leads Mises to claim that economics can be done a priori. This is so because if all people assume these categories, then we can supposedly deduce how people will act in order to achieve particular ends without having to look at any real-world evidence for proof. This is the whole point of "praxeology." According to Mises, if we can discern the fundamental principles of human reasoning and action, we can go on to deduce how economies will operate by simply thinking about the ways in which its participants will act in order to achieve their goals.

Rothbard makes a similar point when he talks about a "Crusoe economics" in The Ethics of Liberty. Rothbard argues that if we imagine a man alone on an island, we can figure out how he will act in order to achieve his goals because he will be acting in accord with the categories presupposed by all human action. If we then add in more actors, we can figure out how they will act and how our Crusoe will respond. So, the whole idea behind Austrian economics is that we can use the principles of human action in order to figure out how the economy works and how it will respond to various policies and events.

So do you have a problem with Aristotle? Aquinas? After all, they make assertions about the ends of human action, as well. I don't see the problem.
Reply
Here's something to chew on. From http://amtheomusings.wordpress.com/2011/...raxeology/

Quote:What it means to be “rational” is for man to engage in purposeful thinking. Man not only seeks to fulfill his desires, he can look upon himself and his desires; self-awareness is this abstract awareness. But man, like all other beings, possesses a nature; and this nature pushes man to seek the fulfillment of his desires. Of course, man is able to choose his desires, at least insofar as we recognize man can choose his actions. But when man acts, we say that he necessarily “pursues the good.” This is because every action is chosen in order to fulfill some perceived value; thus we say that, because man is a rational animal, the action of man is rational action.

A doctrine of Ludwig von Mises is that human action is rational action. We recognize that when man acts, he acts rationally in a way to fulfill a value he perceives. By definition, it is impossible for man’s actions to be irrational, because the choices flow of man’s rational nature; in the same way we say that rational action is the action of a man. There is an appropriation of the world and a choice in respect to it; so rational action presupposes that man possesses knowledge. We could, under certain circumstances, judge that someone’s action is mistaken or in error, but only in recognition of what they were trying to fulfill. (Note: Moral action is rational action; the end of ethics, says Aristotle, is happiness; thus, that which is immoral we are judging to be so because it deviates from the path of true happiness. Hence moral judgment is just an aspect of rational judgment, and insofar as man’s nature is fixed, so is morality.)

Now praxeology is the study of human action. In light of the prior descriptions of Aristotle’s metaphysics, it would seem that the praxeological project is justified and based on the Scholastic metaphysical and moral project, especially as formulated by Aquinas. So the path of disciplines flows from metaphysics to ethics to praxeology to economics (for economics is the study of human action in markets), and the (Austrian) economic project is thus based especially on Thomism.
Reply
Well, the epistemologies at work here are actually quite different. For Aristotle and St. Thomas, "the soul is, in a sense, all things." In a way, it becomes one with what is known. Or, as Rousselot puts it, "we must understand that intelligence's role is not to fabricate concepts or put propositions together but to catch beings." Here, the human soul is connected to the world by final causality and the Scholastic axiom that an effect always resembles its cause. In contrast, the epistemology assumed by Mises here starts with a worldless subject who can never know the world in itself because his knowing is always determined by the transcendental categories.

Anyway, the real issue, in my opinion, is that economics must rely on empirical observation of actual economies, not deduction from what are supposed to be the principles of human action. This is the case because man is alway already in the world and in society, and so his actions are determined not just by some sort of unconditioned reason, but also by the culture and tradition in which he has been raised. Economic laws can be useful tools in analyzing specific systems, but I'm not sure that there are very many universal laws that describe all human economic activity. Economic laws that do descrive real aspects of modern, post-industrialized economies aren't necessarily going to hold in small, tribal societies for instance. At that point, you just need to rely on observation. So, I think the issue is that much of what is assumed to be universal is at best really only particular to one system. Even then, the extent to which it describes real phenomena in our system can be debated.
Reply
OK, now we're getting somewhere.

(11-09-2012, 02:58 AM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: Well, the epistemologies at work here are actually quite different. For Aristotle and St. Thomas, "the soul is, in a sense, all things." In a way, it becomes one with what is known. Or, as Rousselot puts it, "we must understand that intelligence's role is not to fabricate concepts or put propositions together but to catch beings." Here, the human soul is connected to the world by final causality and the Scholastic axiom that an effect always resembles its cause. In contrast, the epistemology assumed by Mises here starts with a worldless subject who can never know the world in itself because his knowing is always determined by the transcendental categories.

I think you're taking the philosophical aspect of his methodology too far. He's not attempting to give us a comprehensive philosophy. Mises has pulled some basic principles from Aristotelean ethics and has applied them to economic theory. That is where I find him to be most useful. Honestly, I pay little attention to his epistemology. I came to Aristotle before Mises, and the overlap between the two (in the ethical arena) is what made Mises appealing to me. I don't see what is so wrong or misguided about applying Aristotelean ethical principles (with regard to human motives) to economics.

(11-09-2012, 02:58 AM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: Anyway, the real issue, in my opinion, is that economics must rely on empirical observation of actual economies, not deduction from what are supposed to be the principles of human action. This is the case because man is alway already in the world and in society, and so his actions are determined not just by some sort of unconditioned reason, but also by the culture and tradition in which he has been raised. Economic laws can be useful tools in analyzing specific systems, but I'm not sure that there are very many universal laws that describe all human economic activity. Economic laws that do descrive real aspects of modern, post-industrialized economies aren't necessarily going to hold in small, tribal societies for instance. At that point, you just need to rely on observation. So, I think the issue is that much of what is assumed to be universal is at best really only particular to one system. Even then, the extent to which it describes real phenomena in our system can be debated.

Once again, I think you're dealing too much in absolutes. I don't think most Austrians would argue that their economic principles are inviolable, iron laws. Of course, any free agent may choose to act against material self-interest, for example. However, Austrian praxeology provides excellent, time-tested guidelines with which to view general economic trends and tendencies. And although it is not empirical by nature, the historical record shows that its assumptions are largely correct.

By the way, I hope that we can keep our future exchanges more like these last few, i.e. non-polemical and sincere. Otherwise, we can easily fall into uncharity and disrespect.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)