Austrian Economics, Evolutionary Psychology andMethodological Dualism: Subjectivism Reconsidered
byViktor J. Vanberg
University of FreiburgPlatz der Alten Synagoge79085 Freiburg, GermanyandWalter Eucken InstitutGoethestr. 1079100 Freiburg, Germany
: The methodological individualism and subjectivism of the Austrian tradition ineconomics is often associated with a methodological dualism, i.e. the claim that the nature of its subject matter, namely purposeful and intentional human action, requires economics toadopt a methodology that is fundamentally different from the causal explanatory approach of the natural sciences. This paper critically examines this claim and advocates an alternative,explicitly naturalistic and empiricist outlook at human action, exemplified, in particular, bythe research program of evolutionary psychology. It is argued that, within the Austriantradition, a decidedly
approach to subjectivism can be found in F.A. Hayek’swork.
: Austrian economics, evolutionary psychology, methodological dualism,subjectivism
: A 12, B 41
An anonymous referee’s helpful comments are gratefully acknowledged.