Introductions

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Millennial TM
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Introductions

Post by Millennial TM » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:33 pm

Physiocrat wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:24 pm
Welcome aboard. That was an interesting read. Btw did you attend the Mises UK conference in January?
Thank you. Indeed I did. I was the guy with long dreadlocks looking slightly out of place.
"The crowd is untruth"

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Clayton
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Introductions

Post by Clayton » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:41 pm

@Mill:

Welcome to the forum. I have found that a basic knowledge of Austrian social science (including Austrian economics) is very empowering because it rejects the view of social science (that is predominant throughout the West) as this fuzzy, ill-defined field of study where nothing can ever really be known. In the mainstream view of social science, we must all preface our statements with "in my opinion" and hedge every claim with weasel-language like "studies show that", "many experts agree that" and so on. This sissy pedantry that is predominant in social science is - in my opinion ;) - a symptom of the influence of top-down power on academia. That is, the ruling elites have an overwhelming interest in ensuring that the social scientists are espousing a theory of social power that is unlikely to really rock the boat and (hence) tip them out of it. So, this is the real reason that we see social scientists habitually using such hedged language, not because of any inherent obstacle to applying scientific rigor to social questions. Hans Hoppe in various places mentions how "intellectual bodyguards" quite self-consciously assisted the ruling elites in Western Europe prior to the 20th century (a tradition that continues, though less self-consciously, down to today).

On the general point of using social science to reach definite conclusions about human behavior, I will quote one of my favorite excerpts from Human Action, chapter IV:
The result sought by an action is called its end, goal, or aim. One uses these terms in ordinary speech also to signify intermediate ends, goals, or aims; these are points which acting man wants to attain only because he believes that he will reach his ultimate end, goal or aim in passing beyond them. Strictly speaking the end, goal, or aim of any action is always the relief from a felt uneasiness.

A means is what serves to the attainment of any end, goal, or aim. Means are not in the given universe; in this universe there exist only things. A thing becomes a means when human reason plans to employ it for the attainment of some end and human action really employs it for this purpose. Thinking man sees the serviceableness of things, i.e., their ability to minister to his ends, and acting man makes them means. It is of primary importance to realize that parts of the external world become means only through the operation of the human mind and its offshoot, human action. External objects are as such only phenomena of the physical universe and the subject matter of the natural sciences. It is human meaning and action which transform them into means. Praxeology does not deal with the external world. but with man's conduct with regard to it. Praxeological reality is not the physical universe, but man's conscious reaction to the given state of this universe. Economics is not about things and tangible material objects; it is about men, their meanings and actions. Goods, commodities, and wealth and all the other notions of conduct are not elements of nature; they are elements of human meaning and conduct. He who wants to deal with them must not look at the external world; he must search for them in the meaning of acting men.

Praxeology and economics do not deal with human meaning and action as they should be or would be if all men were inspired by an absolutely valid philosophy and equipped with a perfect knowledge of technology. For such notions as absolute validity and omniscience there is no room in the frame of a science whose subject matter is erring man. An end is everything which men aim at. A means is everything which acting men consider as such.

It is the task of scientific technology and therapeutics to explode errors in their respective fields. It is the task of economics to expose erroneous doctrines in the field of social action. But if men do not follow the advice of science, but cling to their fallacious prejudices, these errors are reality and must be dealt with as such. Economists consider foreign exchange control as inappropriate to attain the ends aimed at by those who take recourse to it. However, if public opinion does not abandon its delusions and governments consequently resort to foreign exchange control, the course of events is determined by this attitude. Present-day medicine considers the doctrine of the therapeutic effects of mandrake as a fable. But as long as people took this fable as truth, mandrake was an economic good and prices were paid for its acquisition. In dealing with prices economics does not ask what things are in the eyes of other people, but only what they are in the meaning of those intent upon getting them. For it deals with real prices, paid and received in real transactions, not with prices as they would be if men were different from what they really are.

Means are necessarily always limited, i.e., scarce with regard to the services for which man wants to use them. If this were not the case, there would not be any action with regard to them. Where man is not restrained by the insufficient quantity of things available, there is no need for any action.

...

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Physiocrat
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Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:25 am

Re: Introductions

Post by Physiocrat » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:10 pm

Millennial TM wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:33 pm
Physiocrat wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:24 pm
Welcome aboard. That was an interesting read. Btw did you attend the Mises UK conference in January?
Thank you. Indeed I did. I was the guy with long dreadlocks looking slightly out of place.
Thought you might have been that guy. It was good to meet you there. I was suited and made the jokes in poor taste in my speech.
The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

Physiocrat

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Clayton
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Introductions

Post by Clayton » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:30 am

<deleted, posted in wrong thread>
Last edited by Clayton on Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Millennial TM
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Introductions

Post by Millennial TM » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:46 pm

Physiocrat wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:10 pm
Millennial TM wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:33 pm
Physiocrat wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:24 pm
Welcome aboard. That was an interesting read. Btw did you attend the Mises UK conference in January?
Thank you. Indeed I did. I was the guy with long dreadlocks looking slightly out of place.
Thought you might have been that guy. It was good to meet you there. I was suited and made the jokes in poor taste in my speech.
Well if you can't make poor taste jokes in a speech about the British economy, where can you? Good to meet you too.
"The crowd is untruth"

Millennial Transmissions

User avatar
Physiocrat
Site Admin
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:25 am

Re: Introductions

Post by Physiocrat » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:03 pm

Millennial TM wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:46 pm
Well if you can't make poor taste jokes in a speech about the British economy, where can you? Good to meet you too.
Indeed
The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

Physiocrat

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