From commenter "stickman" on the Tom Sargent blog post (I couldn't agree more):
"In a (quasi) related note... I started watching the following Leo Roysten interview with Hayek yesterday:
In answering a question starting about his intellectual development from the surroundings of Fabian socialism (+/- 3.55min mark), Hayek says: "... Both the Marxists and Freudians had the dreadful habit of insisting that their theories were irrefutable; they [were] logically and absolutely cogent... And that led me to see that a theory that cannot be refuted is not scientific..."
The funny thing is that this is almost exactly how I feel about the praexology crowd - or, at least a large portion of them. I'm not disputing the logic of Mises' general assertion that people undertake conscious actions to improve their situations (a claim completely unremarkable in of itself), but I certainly see problems of application and, of course, broader issues of falsifiability.
So much of Austrian economics seems, to me at least, wrapped up in an infinitely tight tautology. "These are the inviolable tenets of human action; only they can explain the economic phenomena that we observe in the world around us." I really sense a severe intolerance of other ideas, opinions or methods (in this case, mathematics), which I find pretty startling.
Gotta run now - so don't have time to expand - but I'll just leave this as food for thought.
Of course, I'm certainly open to having my misgivings corrected if some you think I've unfairly interpreted the principles of Mises. But I'm not particularly sure I'll be swayed on the mindset of a large section of his followers."
Austrian Revival Photos
1 hour ago