–“We don’t agree that…”–
[W]ell saying we don’t agree is to use a rhetorical fallacy. Statements are true, false, or incomplete, whether we agree with one another or not.
1) There exist no laws of science itself. There exist, and we have evolved, procedures that we use to eliminate error, bias, wishful thinking and deceit from our hypothesis. These processes do not tell us a statement is true, they tell us only that it remains a truth candidate if it survives that set of criticisms.
2) There exist intuitions, hypothesis, theories, laws, and tautologies, because we have constructed them, and demonstrate them as such.
3) But there exist no non-tautological, yet certain premises: in other words, in any statement of arbitrary precision, we must seek limits, because all general rules possess limits. This is where mises failed by attempting to make use of justificationary Kantian rationalism instead of critical Popperian rationalism:science. Since there are no certain premises there are no certain deductions. Since there are laws we may deduce from them outcomes of equal precision. But if these are imprecise, then so are our deductions.
4) We can construct descriptive statements (theories) that are true, but inactionable, because they lack sufficient precision. A regularity may be so slow (business cycles, political cycles, generation cycles, and civilizational cycles) that no matter what we do within them, it is merely noise.
Mises proposition that history is non-regular is based upon the presumption that each exchange is unique because it is both subjective and momentary.
But he also proposes that we can empathize (sympathize) with economic statements and thereby test the rationality of any incentive.
This pair of propositions constitutes is a logical contradiction. Since we can decide whether an incentive is rational, and we can test the rationality of others decisions (it’s how we test liars in court), then our judgements are marginally indifferent. If they are marginally indifferent, then they can be represented as constants.
So at one end of the spectrum, decisions are marginally indifferent and we have tested this in thousands of ways in both economics and experimental psychology.
And at the other end his purported axioms (action), and his purported laws (inflation, the neutrality of money, minimum wage) are both sufficiently imprecise as to be inactionable. When in fact, it is possible to produce intentional externalities by intentionally mainpulating these behaviors caused by assymetric information and resource distribution.
And we can (quite accurately) measure those distortions. So it is not that these systems are not regular (they are), or that they are not deterministic (they are), or that they are not actionable (they are actionable), and therefore they are scientifically testable.
Instead of being impervious to science in the development of general rules, it’s that these actions are immoral: they cause involuntary transfers from people with lower/longer time preference, to those with higher/shorter time preference, and thereby not only steal, but deprive the commons of behavioral change necessary to preserve extended time preference.
ie: mises confused a moral theft, with a scientific truth.
This is just one of his many failings in developing his pseudoscientific kantian nonsense – for which he was outcast from the profession, justifiably.
His second main failing was that he did not grasp that he intuited (as did brouwer in math and bridgman in physics) that praxeology produced proofs of construction, but was insufficient for deduction.
A proof of construction is necessary (not only in economics but in mathematics) to demonstrate that an economic statement is existentially possible. It is a means of attempting to falsify a statement.
But most economic effects are not deducible, they are only observable empirically, and then explainable. They are explainable by attempting to construct them from a sequence of rational operations. If they cannot be constructed, then we cannot construct an existence proof, and as such a statement cannot be possible.
It is possible to construct existence proofs for human actions under Keynesianism. But these proofs tell us that such manipulation is an act of deception that causes involuntary transfers (thefts). It is not that such actions are unscientific.
As such mises was incorrect. He convused the immoral and the unscientifc. He confused justifiacationism under moral contract, with truth-candidates that survive criticism.
This is a non-trivial subject. It is probably one of the most important philosopihical questions that hte 20th century philosophers failed to solve. As did all those before them.
But it’s solved now.
Mises was just wrong. He was a cosmopolitan, and an austro-hungarian both, and he simple failed. He failed worse than brouwer and bridgman. And because he failed, and Hayek failed, we were subject to a century of deceit.
The Propertarian Institute
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