Q&A: Curt I Don’t Understand Your Criticism of Mises


—“I’ve seen you criticize Mises and I’m not sure I’ve fully understood your critique. Would it be fair to compare your criticism to modern science’s correction of the Greeks? I’m referring to the definition of modern science as inductive reasoning based on observation (empiricism) in contrast to the Greeks’ deduction based on self-evident truth. (Intuition vs. sensory information)”—


[W]ell, if it was easily reducible to something simple, someone would have figured this problem out before. And it wouldn’t have stumped mises, hayek, popper and dozens of others in other fields.”—


[I] could be lazy and point you to the series of posts on this topic:

Scroll down to (or search for) “REFORMING THE SCIENCES” That section covers it pretty thoroughly.

[O]r, I could try to make it easy for you and point you to this single post:

[O]r, I could spend a little effort and tell you that a whole bunch of philosophers failed to expand the scientific method in the 19th and 20th when our means of instrumental measurement exceeded our understanding of the limits of our perceptions.

Mises is one of the philosophers who failed. In failing he created a pseudoscience. Whereas the others merely failed to understand what they had discovered.

Economics is as empirical as any other science. But just as we cannot state that a formula is existentially possible in mathematics without a proof that it can be constructed from possible mathematical operations, we cannot state that an economic statement is possible if we cannot construct it from possible human operations. Conversely, we cannot possibly deduce all of economics. Yet we can explain all of economics if we try.

Mises made a profound mistake of conflating a negative test – a form of falsification – with a positive means of discovery.

He made the error all germans did: that justification can be used in matters of science. It cannot be.

Contracts and moral arguments can be justified, but truth propositions merely survive criticism.

This is a very advanced bit of a failure of philosophy in intellectual history so it’s not trivial to grasp.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine.

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