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Ludwig Von Mises - The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science - An Essay on Method

Ludwig Von Mises - The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science - An Essay on Method

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Categories:Business/Law, Finance
Published by: nbk13geo on Aug 05, 2009
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10/01/2012

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The Ultimate Foundation
of
Economic Science
AN ESSAY
ON
METHODby
LUDWIG
VON
MISES
D.
VAN NOSTRAND COMPANY, INC.
PRINCETON,
NEW
JERSEYTORONTO LONDONNEW YORK
 
D.
VAN NOSTRAND COMPANY, INC.120 Alexander St., Princeton, New Jersey
(Principal office)
24 West 40 Street, New York 18, New York
D. VAN NOSTRAND COMPANY, LTD.
358,
Kensington High Street, London, W.14, England
D.
VAN NOSTRAND COMPANY
(Canada),
LTD.
25 Hollinger Road, Toronto 16, Canada
Copyright, © 1962 byWILLIAM VOLKER FUNDPublished simultaneously in Canada by
D. VAN NOSTRAND COMPANY
(Canada),
LTD.
No reproduction in any form of this
book,
in whole or inpart (except for brief quotation in critical articles or reviews),may be made without written authorization from the publishers.
PRINTED
IN THE UNITED STATES OP AMERICA
 
Preface
This essay is not a contribution to philosophy. It is merelythe exposition of certain ideas that attempts to deal with thetheory of knowledge ought to take into full account.Traditional logic and epistemology have produced, by andlarge, merely disquisitions on mathematics and the methods ofthe natural sciences. The philosophers considered physics as theparagon of science and blithely assumed that all knowledge is tobe fashioned on its model. They dispensed with biology, satisfy-ing themselves that one day later generations would succeed inreducing the phenomena of life to the operation of elementsthat can be fully described by physics. They slighted history as"mere literature" and ignored the existence of economics. Posi-tivism, as foreshadowed by Laplace, baptized by Auguste Comte,and resuscitated and systematized by contemporary logical orempirical positivism, is essentially panphysicalism, a scheme todeny that there is any other method of scientific thinking thanthat starting from the physicist's recording of "protocol sentences."Its materialism encountered opposition only on the part of meta-physicians who freely indulged in the invention of fictitiousentities and of arbitrary systems of what they called "philosophyof history."This essay proposes to stress the fact that there is in the uni-verse something for the description and analysis of which thenatural sciences cannot contribute anything. There are eventsbeyond the range of those events that the procedures of thenatural sciences are fit to observe and to describe. There is humanaction.It is a fact that up to now nothing has been done to bridge overthe gulf that yawns between the natural events in the consumma-

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