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The Economic Point of View: An Essay in the History of Economic Thought, ed. with an Introduction by Laurence S. Moss (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews McMeel, 1976).
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The Sciences of Human Action
The description of economics as a praxeological science must necessarily be preceded by a rather detailed exposition of the praxeological point of view in general. This will readily be seen to embrace a far wider range of phenomena than is considered in conventional economics. At this point it is sufficient that the praxeological view sees economic affairs as distinguished solely by the fact that they belong to the larger body of phenomena that have their source in human actions. The core of the concept of human action is to be found in the unique property possessed by human beings of engaging in operations designed to attain a state of affairs that is preferred to that which has hitherto prevailed. A person perceives the possibility of an improvement in his position, perhaps through possession of an additional commodity, perhaps by the abandonment of an unwanted piece of property, by a change in physical location, or through some other alteration in the configuration of matters that might affect his sense of wellbeing. The recognition of any such opportunity for improving his well-being sets in motion the actions that the person will take to secure the improvement. The pattern of action taken will be broadly defined by the circumstances surrounding the desired alteration of affairs. Sound logic will, in a given situation, point to one or several courses of action that give promise of most successfully securing the desired change. In so far as human behavior is guided by logic, then, conduct will follow a path that has been selected by reason. This path of conduct is what is known praxeologically as human action.
The concrete forms that human action may take are as innumerable as are the ways in which men can achieve relief from states of relative dissatisfaction. The particular form that an individual human action takes is determined by factors that include those making up the specific environmental conditions as well as those that have shaped the character and values of the actor. The conception of sciences of human action recognizes that the form of action as it unfolds in its historical reality is the result of influences that range from the physiological to the religious, the social to the geographical. An explanation of human action can be adequately undertaken only with full awareness of these varied influences. The historian seeking to understand what men have done in particular instances must draw on the disciplines whose task it is to explain the sequences of cause and effect in the physical, physiological, or psychological influences upon action.
The contribution that the praxeological point of view has made to the scientific explication of action in history is the isolation of an element in action the explanation of which is not exhausted by even the most complete application of the sciences concerned with the concrete manifestations of human action. This residual element is that of the operation of human action itself, which neither is explained by physical, physiological, or psychological theories nor requires the assistance of these doctrines for its own exposition. A praxeological science, using the rationality of human action as its foundation, is able to derive theorems describing the path of action under given circumstances. The reasoning that constructs these theorems mirrors the reasoning that is implied in action itself. New links in the chain of knowledge, in the form of praxeological theorems, are forged from the constraint that human purposefulness imposes on action, namely, that it be taken only with the sanction of reason.
Given all the physical, physiological, and psychological influences on the setting of an action, action of a specific form might be predicted with assurance. But such prediction is conceivable, not because these influences in themselves determine action, but because action is subject to the mandate of reason, which guides the act into the path that is to be preferred among those indicated by these external influences. A complete knowledge on the part of an observer of these external influences might allow prediction of the form to be taken by action only because the logic of the observer enables him to know with certainty the path that the actor's own logic will select. When a man is about to perform a mathematical computation upon given data, an observer of the data may attempt to predict the results that the computer will arrive at. But for such a prediction to be successful, it is not sufficient to rely on the fact that these results are “determined” by the data; it is necessary that the observer with his own logic be able to reproduce mentally the logical operations performed by the computer in arriving at his results. There is, of course, a definite meaning to the statement that the results of a mathematical computation are determined by the relevant data. An attempt at the computation by a human mathematician, however, yields these “determined” results only in so far as his logic constrains him to conform to the objectively correct computational operations. The case with human action in general is rather closely analogous to this example.
At the root of the notion of human action is the simple assumption that human reason plays a role in every action. Although, of course, by no means universally acceptable, this assumption remains a simple, and at least superficially, plausible one. No matter how compelling the physiological or physical factors that crave action may seem, it is within the power of reason to resist them. No matter how strong the psychological pressures on man may be, his actions have necessarily passed the scrutiny and gained at least the tacit assent of his reason. These pressures may well be overwhelmingly powerful, and, of course, in sanctioning or prohibiting action, men's reason is operating with the consciousness of these imperious, often contradictory forces. The concept of human action depends, however, on the introspectively valid fact that there is a form of conduct that is specifically human, i.e., conduct that is accompanied by the consciousness of volition, of something more than a bundle of reflexes responding to specific stimuli. The nature of these various stimuli and the directions towards which they variously tend to guide action are completely independent of the desires and will of the actor. As such they are part of the subject matters of the physical, physiological, and psychological sciences. Were action taken simply in instinctive obedience to these stimuli, it could be conceived as objectively determined by the data constituting its setting, in the same way as the results of a mathematical computation are determined by the data of the problem. But because man possesses the power to reject one course of action for another, to arrange the satisfaction to be derived from obeying specific impulses within a wider ordering of values, the physical, physiological, and psychological sciences do not exhaust the facts of action that are capable of scientific explanation. The element in conduct that is the reflection of man's power to weigh, arrange, and choose among courses of behavior is the specifically human element in action. The investigation of this element of human action and of its manifestation in various particular situations forms a field of study unique by virtue of the nature of human action itself. Sciences of human action will be distinct from other sciences in that the former begin where the latter end, viz., in the implications of the rationality that governs purposeful behavior.
The Emergence of the Praxeological View of Economics
Postponing for subsequent discussion the further details of the praxeological view and the consideration of the controversial points involved in it, we shall proceed to outline the development, during the past three quarters of a century, of the stream of thought to be regarded as the praxeological view of economic science. Since its emergence, the praxeological point of view has been most fruitful, not in the extensive exploration of new sciences of human action, but in the consequences of its recognizing the theorems of economics as being the propositions of a science of human action. The possibility of theoretical statements concerning economic activity was seen as not at all due to any supposed uniqueness in the phenomena of wealth or material welfare or money or any of the other numerous criteria that had been used in defining economics. It was perceived that economic theory derives from precisely that element in human behavior which we have described as human action. The particular forms of action that have been traditionally investigated by economists are, indeed, distinguished by close association with various institutions such as money or with specific patterns of action such as interpersonal exchange. But if there is any meaningful underlying unity in the theorems of economics, it is to be found only in the concept of human action. Seen from this vantage point, economic theory acquires immediately a position unique within the range of human knowledge. It is the discipline that has alone successfully sought to harness the element of human action to the scientific explanation of social phenomena.
The earliest formulations of the praxeological view of economics in anything approaching a complete statement appeared about the turn of the century. Before this there had been several penetrating attempts to elucidate the nature of economic science. Several of these, especially those seeking to distinguish a specifically “economic principle” in action, have been cited in earlier chapters. But the uniqueness of human action as seen by praxeology, that is, as making possible a characteristically distinct contribution to the understanding of social phenomena, had not been expounded. Aside from isolated statements by several writers, who seem to have caught a glimpse of such a possibility,2 it was not until the nineties that economics was clearly identified with the logic of conscious choice.
Perhaps the first discussion of the role of economics as a science of human action in this praxeological sense is that of an American, Sidney Sherwood. Writing in 1897 on the “philosophical basis of economics,”3 Sherwood declared that a general science dealing with “consciousness in action,” a “science of practical life,” was the intellectual necessity of the time. Hitherto special disciplines such as history, law, politics, and sociology had groped forward in this direction. But a “master science” was required to give a common starting point and method to these special inquiries. Such a science “must explain all the conscious activities of men by reducing them to terms of the motives and choices of the individual consciousness.” To Sherwood it seemed that economics is the science outstandingly fitted to play this role. “Economics deals with wants consciously felt, resources consciously perceived, and consciously directed to the end of gaining conscious satisfaction ... ” Any restriction of economic reasoning to the sphere of material goods is completely artificial. It seemed “inevitable” to Sherwood that economics must ultimately include all human values. “All pleasures, all values, all choices, all teleological activities, are, in fact, chosen and followed upon principles which economics alone has explained in a scientific manner.”
All human self-directed conduct, Sherwood pointed out, proceeds from choices that are simply the valuations of certain courses of action. The motive power in the practical activities of man is to be found in his consciously felt desires. Sherwood sharply criticized the temptation, to which several sociologists of the period had succumbed, of applying physical and biological concepts to psychical phenomena. The fitness that survives, according to the biological notion of evolution, is an unforeseen fitness, an adjustment wrought out in consequence of the struggle. But psychical activities are essentially purposeful; the fitness that survives in social adjustments is prearranged. Sociologists are guilty of unscientific procedure when they group the phenomena of economic adjustments together with those of unexplained and fortuitous biological change.4
Sherwood's perception of the nature of human action and of the praxeological character of economics is unmistakably clear. The adjective “conscious,” which he constantly uses to describe the types of conduct dealt with by economics, and his explicit relation of such conduct to human motives identify the “master science” for which Sherwood is searching as an all-embracing praxeology. That Sherwood's definition of economics represents, in this respect, an advance over that of his contemporaries becomes apparent from the originality of his attitude towards the use of the “economic principle” as the defining criterion. It was seen in an earlier chapter that several writers, such as Dietzel and Neumann in Germany and Hawley in the United States, had been deterred from using the economic principle as a criterion for defining economics on the very grounds that make the principal significant, namely, that it characterizes all kinds of human activity. These writers recognized the importance to economics of the rational element in economic activity; indeed, this element played so obvious and dominant a role in economic analysis that, as the “economic principle,” it suggested itself to them as the natural mark identifying the phenomena with which the discipline dealt. This suggestion they found themselves forced to reject on the ground that all human activity displays the very same hallmark of rationality, that the economic principle governs all the conscious activities of man. And this left them no choice but to seek for some other quality in economic phenomena that they, among all other social phenomena, might uniquely possess in common.
Sherwood, starting from a position substantially similar to that of these writers, was able to reach a quite different conclusion. Once it had been suggested that economic phenomena are susceptible of analysis by virtue of their rational quality, Sherwood found it impossible to discard this idea. Instead of being dismayed at finding a similar purposefulness, a similar rationality and adherence to the economic principle, throughout the range of human activities, Sherwood was awakened thereby to a new appreciation of the role of economics. Instead of impelling him to look for other characteristics by which to delineate the scope of economic science, the realization of the all-pervasive influence of the economic principle convinced Sherwood of the futility and artificiality of erecting rigid boundaries purporting to separate economic activity from human action generally. The conscious direction of resources to the end of gaining conscious satisfaction was so fundamental to the very conception of economics and was at the same time so obviously a factor decisive in all action, that Sherwood could see economics transformed into a spearhead of a new “master science” that might investigate the consequences in activity generally of the consciously motivated element in action. Hitherto economics had been confined, to be sure, to specific kinds of phenomena, but this restriction was an artificial one and in no way corresponded to a unique field of knowledge.
This statement of the nature of economics seems to have passed unnoticed in the literature. Happily, similar ideas were being formulated at about the very same time by the celebrated Italian philosopher, Benedetto Croce. His views were set down with rather greater painstaking precision and expounded against the background of a fully articulated general philosophical and epistemological system. As such, Croce's position has attracted the attention of a number of subsequent writers. It has not always been appreciated, however, how closely Croce's view of economics mirrors the praxeological outlook. This feature of Croce's ideas on the nature of economy and economics is brought clearly into focus by their juxtaposition with the radically different views of Pareto, with whom Croce conducted an elaborate exchange of opinions on the subject. A brief review of Croce's opinions as expressed in this published correspondence will at the same time provide a remarkably clear, if not complete, statement of the view of economics as a science of human action.
The root of the difference between the outlook of Croce and that of Pareto, and the source of their celebrated debate on the nature of economics, is to be found in their attitudes towards teleology. According to Pareto, the act is a subject for science only in so far as it yields “facts and concrete cases.” According to Croce, on the other hand, the act is aimed at a purpose, and economics obtains its distinctiveness and its homogeneity from this characteristic of the act itself. Croce's crusade against the behaviorism of Pareto5 a took the form of a vigorous rebellion against the latter's injunction to economists to confine their attention to the “result of action” and to leave the “nature” of action for the metaphysicians.6
Pareto's position, Croce complains, itself involves an implicit metaphysical postulate. It is implied that the facts of man's activity are of the same nature as physical facts; that in both cases regularities can be observed and consequences can be thereby deduced, but that the “inner nature of the facts” can never be exposed.7 Upon the testimony of experience, however, Croce insists on the fundamental distinction between the physical and the mental, between mechanics and teleology, between passivity and activity. From this point of view, it is of the utmost relevance (Pareto's statements to the contrary notwithstanding) to recognize that the choice with which economics is concerned is not simply “the fact of choice,” but the fact of conscious choice. And because the economic fact is a fact of conscious choice, a fact of will, its “inner nature” is not at all obscure. The nature of economic activity is grasped as immediately as is the nature of the operation of willing. An act is economic in so far as it is the consistent expression of a man's will, of his conscious aiming at a perceived goal.8
From Croce's position on the nature of economic activity flows immediately his praxeological conception of economic science. The purposefulness of human action—a category to which nothing in physical science corresponds—is the unique element that invests economic science with its individuality. The propositions of economics relate to the effective execution of the purposes willed by the actor. They are not descriptions, but theorems in the sense that they follow rigorously and necessarily from the postulated systems of ends and means. “Economic Science ... is a mathematic applied to the concept of human action ... It does not inquire what human action is; but having posited certain concepts of action, it creates formulae for the prompt recognition of the necessary connections.”9
Croce's ideas will have been perhaps more fully set forth when we shall have considered his contributions to several points of detail in the praxeological conception of economics. Although his stature as a thinker drew more academic attention to these ideas than had been given to those of Sherwood, Croce's impact on the development of economic methodology has to this day not reached its full potential. Writings during the last half century on the proper conception of economic science could in many instances have greatly benefited from familiarity with Croce's work in this field. One author whose writings do deserve a place in any discussion of the evolution of praxeological ideas, although his contribution in this respect scarcely approaches that of Croce, is Max Weber.
Max Weber and Human Action
The great sociologist's views on the nature of economics and, in particular, the significance of his ideas for the development of praxeology are closely related to his views on the social sciences in general. These in turn revolve around the concept of Verstehen, which is the epistemological tool that Weber used to distinguish the Geisteswissenschaften from the natural sciences. It is of some interest to compare Weber's way of achieving this distinction with the method used by Croce.
Like Croce, Weber sees purpose as the most conspicuous feature in action, and, because it is the foundation for the notion of Verstehen, as the source of the possibility of separating the social from the physical sciences. A motive is “a meaningful complex ... which appears to the actor himself or the observer to be an adequate ... ground for his attitudes or acts.” The significance of purpose in the scientific analysis of action is its introduction of a new notion of causality. It permits the grasping of the cause of an action through the understanding (Verstehen) of its motive. A correct causal interpretation of concrete action implies that “the outward course and the motive are each correctly grasped and that their relationship to each other is ‘understandable.’”10 And it is the possibility of making this kind of statement regarding the causation of a phenomenon of interest to the Geisteswissenschaften that marks these disciplines as distinct from the physical sciences. In the latter, events can be only “externally” observed, while the teleological orientation of social phenomena permits their being grasped completely.
Economics, like verstehende Soziologie in general, becomes in this way, for Weber as for Croce, a science of human action. That which is understood is purposeful human action.11 But it is here that Weber and Croce part company and that Weber's progress in praxeological thought becomes diverted. Croce had not understood the economic aspect of human action to consist merely in the simple fact that action is aimed at a purpose. In perceiving the economic aspect, Croce recognized the constraint that purposefulness imposes on action, i.e., that action actually tend to achieve the purposes that serve as its inspiration. Economics, for Croce, is the science that investigates the extensive implications and consequences of precisely this tendency. But this aspect of purpose in action plays no role in Weber's conception of economic activity or of the nature of economic science. Weber's science takes notice of the teleological character of human action merely because this purposive feature opens a window on the “internal” nature of the act, not at all because it implies that the action is constrained to follow a specific path. The fact that human actions are motivated is in itself sufficient only to invest them with the property of being “understood”; it is not sufficient to set up a category of “economy,” still less to establish an economic science.
Weber, indeed, is able to extend the concept of Verstehen to grasp the behavior of the most unreasonable or emotional human beings. To approach the construction of an economic science, it is necessary first for Weber to introduce the notion of the “ideal type,” i.e., the formulation of abstract, arbitrary models of acting man. Only one of Weber's four ideal types finds a place in his concept of economics. This is the ideal type of rational action, the model of a coldly calculating human being conscious of ends and means. Within the range of actions that can be intuitively grasped because of their motivations there exist patterns of action that are distinguished in that they are in fact suited to the attainment of the chosen goals. Among these patterns are to be found the materials to be studied by the economist as Weber conceives him.
The necessity that Weber felt of introducing rationality into economic activity as a specific assumption limiting the general concept of human action reveals the limited extent to which he appreciated the praxeological content of action. For Weber, the common denominator of all human actions that are “understandable” is not their conformity to a rational pattern of utilizing given means towards a desired end, but simply their conscious “direction” towards an end as such. We can understand an action, not necessarily because we ourselves would, under similar circumstances, act likewise, but because we can sense and appreciate the possibility that such an action could be induced by the agent's mental posture of desire towards the end. For Weber, there is no presumption that the action so induced will at all hasten the attainment of the end concerned. A man seeking a desired object may, in his anger at being thwarted, or in the excitement of pursuit, act in a manner that, in the judgment of both the cool observer and subsequent history, is supremely capable of frustrating the attainment of the sought-for end. Such a conception of action is, of course, incapable in itself of serving as a foundation for economic science. Only by imposing an artificial abstraction of the ideal type is Weber able to reach economics. And it is apparent that when conformity to an ideal type must be assumed for the deduction of the propositions of economics, these propositions cease to be the logical implications of human action, and economics ceases to be a branch of praxeology.12
Acting Man and Economizing Man: Mises and Robbins
In the decades following the age of Weber, praxeological ideas developed in two directions, yielding two related, but significantly distinct, conceptions of economic science. On the one hand, there developed, partly under the influence of Max Weber, the conception of economics that has been treated in the previous chapter. Here the ends-means dichotomy came to serve as the framework for the construction of an economic science that took as its foundation the idea of economizing. The previous chapter has described the culmination of this stream of thought in the work of Professor Robbins. This must now be clearly related to another direction of praxeological thought, to the influence of which, indeed, the development of the first must in some degree be ascribed.
This second line of praxeological thought has been led by the work of Professor Mises. It is in this direction that we find the most complete and consistent development of the praxeological concept, and it is this development that the present chapter set out to describe. Mises' explicit enunciation of the character of economics as a science of human action, the most highly developed of the potential praxeological disciplines, represents one of his most seminal and original ideas. It may be reasonably asserted that most, perhaps all, of Mises' characteristic contributions to the various branches of economic theory are, in his eyes, simply the consistently worked out corollaries of this fundamental thesis concerning the nature of economics.13 If economic theory, as the science of human action, has become a system at the hands of Mises, it is so because his grasp of its praxeological character imposes on its propositions an epistemological rationale that in itself creates this systematic unity. It is unfortunate, but not difficult to understand, that disagreement with some of Professor Mises' economic theories on the part of his critics has induced in them a tendency to ignore, if not to disparage, the epistemological basis from which Mises' conclusions seem to follow so rigorously. The truth is that the comprehension of economics as a science of human action provides a basis broad enough to support widely diverging conclusions. The validity of the praxeological approach must be tested on its own merits and by its internal epistemological adequacy.
Although praxeological ideas already appear in germinal form in Mises' first book, The Theory of Money and Credit (1912), it was not until the twenties that they became explicitly formulated. By the early thirties Mises' ideas on the nature and scope of economics had reached their full development,14 and some of these ideas attracted the attention of writers on the methodology of economics in a number of countries.15 The works in which Professor Mises has most fully presented the case for praxeology are his Grundprobleme der Nationalökonomie. (1933), Nationalökonomie (1940), and its English counterpart Human Action (1949). A vigorous restatement of the position of the sciences of human action and a spirited defense of their epistemological assumptions are to be found in Mises' recently published Theory and History (1957).
In comparing the two views of economics represented by the works of Mises and Robbins, it is necessary to notice carefully their points of similarity and to observe even more carefully the degree to which they differ from one another. Writers have tended to group Mises and Robbins together as continuators of Weber in their stress on the ends-means dichotomy and its importance for economic activity.16 But the two views place economic science in two quite distinct positions.
Economizing consists in the allocation of scarce resources among competing ends. Acting, in the praxeological sense, consists in selecting a pattern of behavior designed to further the actor's purposes. Of course, the particular allocation that, in any given situation, will be made of scarce means in respect of different ends will constitute a course of action, a pattern of conduct designed to further the achievement of as many of those goals (in their preferred order) as possible. But the concept of action is wider and at the same time more fundamental than that of economizing. Although action may be described in terms of ends and means, such a description is quite different from that of an operation of economizing. In the concept of economy, ends and means constitute a scheme more or less artificially imposed on action so that the relative valuations of ends can be reflected in the specific pattern in which resources are allocated. The essential idea becomes, not the intent pursuit of a set purpose, but the almost mechanical translation of the scale of “ultimate” ends into appropriately apportioned shares at the level of means. “Means” are required for the notion of economy because they are the entities that must be “allocated”; it is in the comparison of different ways of utilizing resources that economizing finds its place.
With the broader notion of action, on the other hand, we are not primarily interested in the particular pattern in which resources will be apportioned among ends. Such an allocation, if carried out, will be of interest as one of the possible implications of action and will, of course, as such, find a place somewhere in the science of human action. But on the basis of Robbins' conception of the nature of economic science, economics can achieve homogeneity and individuality only by virtue of its concern with the existence of such operations of comparison and allocation of means. The praxeological approach, on the other hand, finds a basis for the homogeneity and individuality of economics at a deeper level, which does not necessarily require a clearly recognizable pattern of allocation. This basis is found in the fundamental characteristic of action, viz., that it is conduct directed at the achievement of a purpose.
In this characteristic, praxeology finds a sufficient source of explanation for the specific patterns of action, among which the judicious disposal of scarce means appears as a frequent example. But a really unique criterion for the definition of economics is not to be found in the idea of allocating scarce resources, nor can this concept serve as an adequate foundation on which that science can be constructed. The key point is not that acting man ponders the comparative efficacy in different uses of certain given “means,” but that he behaves under a constraint that he himself has imposed, i.e., the necessity of acting in order to achieve what he wants to achieve, so that his behavior tends to conform to the pattern implied by his scale of ends. “Means” exist as such for acting man only after he has turned them to his purpose; acting is not apportioning, but doing—doing what seems likely to further one's purposes.
The remainder of this chapter, which attempts to set forth several details of the praxeological view and to consider various criticisms levelled against it, will serve at the same time as a commentary on the similarities and distinctions between an economics built around homo agens and one centered around economizing man.
[]For such early glimpses of the possibility of a science of human action, see H. Storch, Coursd'économie politique (St. Petersburg, 1815), I, ii; R. Jennings, Natural Elements of Political Economy (London, 1855), p. 41, where political economy is described as “a science of human actions”; W. E. Hearn, Plutology: or the Theory of the Efforts to Satisfy Human Wants (London and Melbourne, 1864).
[]Sidney Sherwood, “The Philosophical Basis of Economics, A Word to Sociologists,” Publications of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, October 5, 1897.
[]See further above, ch. II, in the section entitled “The Science of Subsistence.”
[]See, however, T. Parsons, “Economics and Sociology: Marshall in Relation to the Thought of His Time,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, February, 1932, p. 340, for the emphasis on that aspect of Pareto's thinking which cuts him off from economic behaviorism.
[]See International Economic Papers, No. 3, pp. 190, 204.
[]For a similar charge of implicit metaphysical bias in the position of those denying the concept of human action, see L. Mises, Theory and History (Yale, 1957), pp. 3 f.
[]The writings of R. G. Collingwood reveal some similarity to Croce's views. See, e.g., his “Human Nature and Human History,” Proceedings of the British Academy, Vol. XXII (1936): “The self-knowledge of reason is not an accident; it belongs to its essence.” See also his “Economics as a Philosophical Science,” Ethics, Vol. XXXVI (1926).
[]B. Croce, Philosophy of the Practical (English ed.; London: Macmillan & Co., 1913), pp. 365–371. For a brief exposition of the position which Croce's views on economy occupy within his complete system of philosophy, see G. Tagliacozzo, “Croce and the Nature of Economic Science,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, May, 1945.
[]M. Weber, “Die Objektivitat sozialwissenschaftlicher und sozialpolitischer Erkenntnis,” Archiv fur Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, 1904; translated in Shils and Finch, eds., Max Weber on the Methodology of the Social Sciences (Glencoe: Free Press, 1949), p. 83.
[]See, e.g., M. Weber, “Die Grenznutzlehre und das ‘psychophysische’ Grundgesetz,” Archiv fur Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, 1908; reprinted in Gesammelte Aufsatze zur Wissenschaftslehre von Max Weber (Tübingen, 1922), pp. 364–365.
[]For criticism of Weber's conception of economics, see L. Mises, “Soziologie und Geschichte, Epilog zum Methodenstreit in der Nationalökonomie,” Archiv fur Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, 1929, pp. 465 ff. See further T. Parsons, The Structure of Social Action, ch. XVI, and Essays in Sociological Theory, Pure and Applied (Glencoe, 1949), pp. 67–147.
[]Cf. F. A. Hayek, The Counter-Revolution of Science, p. 209, n. 24.
[]See also L. Mises, Socialism (English ed.; London, 1936), pp. 111 ff.; L. Mises, “Vom Weg der subjektivistichen Wertlehre,” Schriften des Vereins fur Sozialpolitik, 183/1, pp. 76–93; L. Mises, “Begreifen und Verstehen,” Schmollers Jahrbuch, 1930.
[]See, e.g., L. Robbins, Nature and Significance (1930); also his “Live and Dead Issues in the Methodology of Economics,” Economica, August, 1938; F. Kaufmann, Methodology of the Social Sciences (English ed.; New York, 1944), ch. XVI; M. Bowley, Nassau Senior and Classical Political Economy (1937), p. 64; T. W. Hutchison, The Significance and Basic Postulates of Economic Theory (1938); O. Morgenstern, The Limits of Economics (English ed.; 1937), p. 154.
[]See, e.g., L. M. Lachmann, “The Science of Human Action,” Economica, November, 1951, p. 413.