Posts Tagged ‘Mises’

The Great Ideas of the Social Sciences

August 31, 2012

by Gene Callahan

Let’s take social science broadly, in the sense of German wissenschaft, so that The Republic and Politics and The Social Contract are social science. (I would contend that they are, in fact, often much more scientific than the latest regression study of how detergent use correlates with the suicide rate.)

So what, then, are the most important ideas ever put forward in social science? I’m not asking what are the best ideas, so the truth of them is only obliquely relevant: a very important idea may be largely false. (I think it still must contain some germ of truth, or it would have no plausibility.) Think of it this way: if you were teaching a course called “The Great Ideas of the Social Sciences,” what would you want to make sure you included?

Here’s my preliminary list. What have I left off? What have I mistakenly included? Read the rest of this entry »

Samuelson’s Legacy and that of Mises

December 16, 2009

by Roger Koppl

One of our all-time greats, Paul Samuelson, has passed.  We should mourn the passing of a great mind and fellow human being.  He influenced so many economists so deeply that it easy to underestimate his influence.  Barkley Rosser makes the key point at Econospeak.  “His influence is so great in so many areas that the key papers by him that lie behind the standard textbook accounts in many areas do not even bother to cite them.”  Barkley adds the interesting comment that Samuelson “himself was generally personally aware of the flaws and limits of many of his own ideas” whereas the “sons of Samuelson” have been “more simplistic.” Read the rest of this entry »

Mises Was A Scientist

October 5, 2009
by Roger Koppl

Over at Division of Labor, Noel Campbell picks a fight with Austrian fans of Mises.  “I always conceived of Mises’ efforts as attempting to build a logically correct and (therefore) irrefutable description of human behavior. As such, I always viewed Human Action as a work of philosophy, not science.”   Noel hints that he doesn’t want to be answered with a lot of philosophy of science.  I might whine about how unfair it is to contrast Mises’ “philosophy” with “science” and then expect a response that doesn’t get into the philosophy of science.  But Noel seems to be a nice guy with a sincere question, so I’ll take a stab at it anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

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