Another Critic

—“I wonder if Curt Doolittle would share with us which economic discipline ie Keynesianism or Friedman’s Chicagoan School that is more scientific than Austrian economics.”—Brian White


I can define ‘Scientific’ very precisely. I am not sure that I can define Austrian Economics so precisely – other than stating it as the two German and Cosmopolitan (Misesian/Rothbardian) branches. The germans did not make any pseudoscientific claims that I am aware of. However, Mises and Rothbard make expressly pseudoscientific arguments – not the least of which is conflating axiomatic (complete) systems for constructing proofs, with theoretical (incomplete) systems for constructing models. The definition of pseudoscientific is a claim that does not follow the scientific method. The scientific method however, is not in fact a method, but a set of moral constraints on warrantable (truthful) speech. Mises claims an axiomatic system is a science rather than a logic. This is simply false. (albeit his era was plagued with philosophical confusion as philosophy desperately attempted to attain the respectability of science. Today it is group with theology both in book stores and in academic budgets..)

—“Okay Curt I was more interested to know if there were other economic sciences that you concluded were more scientific”—Brian White


Logical fallacy.

Something is not more scientific than something else. The point of demarcation in science is whether the scientific method is used or not. As such practicing science is a binary proposition, not an analog proposition. So “more scientific” is not possible. Either someone follows the scientific method or one does not. The definition of ‘science’ is whether one practices the scientific method.

Economic science is practiced scientifically. Misesianism is the non-scientific branch of Austrian economics. All working economists today who call themselves Austrians (that I know of) practice empirical, scientific, economics. In other words, they are not Misesians.

Instead,working Austrians require praxeological testing (operational falsification) of economic theories rather than macro correlations alone. This is tantamount to placing two additional requirements on the scientific method: (a) that economic theories must be operationally falsifiable, and (b) that economic theories of policy must be stated such that they expose the degree of moral or immoral consequences.