What the Hell is Praxeology?
Praxeology is the study of those aspects of human action that can be grasped a priori; in other words, it is concerned with the conceptual analysis and logical implications of preference, choice, means-end schemes, and so forth.
The basic principles of praxeology were first discovered by the Greek philosophers, who used them as a foundation for a eudaimonistic ethics. This approach was further developed by the Scholastics, who extended praxeological analysis to the foundations of economics and social science as well.
In the late nineteenth century, the praxeological approach to economics and social science was rediscovered by Carl Menger, founder of the Austrian School. The term praxeology was first applied to this approach by the later Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises (portrait at left). Along with his students (including Friedrich Hayek and Murray Rothbard), Mises employed praxeological principles to show that much existing economic and social theory was conceptually incoherent.
Independently of Mises, analytic philosophers in the ordinary language tradition like Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, and Elizabeth Anscombe were also making contributions to praxeological theory, though they did not use that term.
Praxeology.net is dedicated to the integration of the various praxeological insights of Greek and Scholastic philosophy, Austrian economics, and the ordinary language tradition.
Some online sources on praxeology:
- Hipparchus by Plato
- Protagoras by Plato
- Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
- Topics by Aristotle
- Summa Theologiae by Thomas Aquinas
- Epistemological Problems of Economics by Ludwig von Mises
- Human Action by Ludwig von Mises
- Theory and History by Ludwig von Mises
- The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science by Ludwig von Mises
- Money, Method, and the Market Process by Ludwig von Mises
- The Economic Point of View by Israel Kirzner
- In Defense of Extreme Apriorism [PDF file] by Murray N. Rothbard
- Praxeology: The Method of Austrian Economics by Murray N. Rothbard [PDF file]
- Praxeology: A Reply to Mr. Schuller by Murray N. Rothbard [PDF file]
- Man, Economy, and State / Power and Market by Murray N. Rothbard
- Toward a Reconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics by Murray N. Rothbard [PDF file]
- Economic Science and the Austrian Method by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
- The Methodology of the Austrian School Economists by Lawrence H. White
- The Question of Apriorism by Barry Smith
- The Philosophical Origins of Austrian Economics by David Gordon
- Praxeology and Understanding: An Analysis of the Controversy in Austrian Economics [PDF file] by George A. Selgin
- Facts and Counterfactuals in Economic Law [PDF file] by Jörg Guido Hülsmann
- The Implications of Human Action by Gene Callahan
- The Diamond Fallacy by Gene Callahan
- Wittgenstein, Austrian Economics, and the Logic of Action [early draft; PDF file] by Roderick T. Long
- Anti-Psychologism in Economics: Wittgenstein and Mises [PDF file] by Roderick T. Long
- Realism and Abstraction in Economics: Aristotle and Mises versus Friedman [PDF file] by Roderick T. Long
- Praxeology: Who Needs It [on Ayn Rand; PDF file]
- R. G. Collingwood: Historicist or Praxeologist? [early draft; PDF file] by Roderick T. Long
Rule-following, Praxeology, and Anarchy [PDF file] by Roderick T. Long
- Anscombe for Austrians: Praxeology, War, Democracy, and the State [early draft; Word document] by Roderick T. Long
- Wittgenstein, Praxeology, and Freges Three Realms [early draft; Word document] by Roderick T. Long
- The Problem of Pain by Roderick T. Long
- The Very Idea by Roderick T. Long
- Platonic Pitfalls for Austro-Libertarians [early draft; Word document]
- Economics and Its Ethical Assumptions by Roderick T. Long
- Review of Leland Yeagers Ethics As Social Science [PDF file] by Roderick T. Long
Austro-Libertarian Themes in Early Confucianism [PDF file; see also longer draft] by Roderick T. Long
Back to main page