Austrian Economics: Historical and Philosophical Background by Wolfgang Grassl, Barry Smith

By Wolfgang Grassl, Barry Smith

First released in 1986, this publication provides a reissue of the 1st distinctive war of words among the Austrian college of economics and Austrian philosophy, specially the philosophy of the Brentano university. It includes a learn of the roots of Austrian economics within the liberal political concept of the nineteenth-century Hapsburg empire, and a examine of the kinfolk among the final conception of price underlying Austrian economics and the hot fiscal method of human behaviour propounded via Gary Becker and others in Chicago.  additionally, it considers the connections among Austrian method and modern debates within the philosophy of the social sciences.

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And it is not provided either, in a form which would meet contemporary standards of philosophical rigour, in the writings of Aristotle and the scholastics. The outlines of a suitable account are, however, to be found in the early, pre-phenomenological works of Brentano’s most important student, Edmund Husserl. Husserl began his intellectual career as a mathematician but became increasingly interested in philosophical issues relating to the foundations of logic and mathematics. His decision to become a philosopher was primarily influenced by Brentano, whose lectures he attended in Vienna in 1884–6.

But it seems nevertheless true that managerial activity presupposes entrepreneurial activity; economic organisation directed towards some end cannot exist unless this end has been determined. It is one principal virtue of Kirzner’s analysis that it enables us to see the precise sense in which entrepreneurship, unlike managerial activity, is not a factor (input) of production, but rather a presupposition of production. 60 He receives, rather, the residue, not calculable in advance, of the process of production which he sets in train, and it is the possibility of this pure or entrepreneural profit which sustains the entrepreneur in his state of alertness.

An underlying substratum of intentions appropriate to a promise is, as a matter of necessity, indispensable. This is an example of an a priori law concerning the social act of promising. Other examples of such laws are familiar in the field of colours and colour-relations (for example, that nothing can be both red and green all over, or that blue and green are more similar than blue and scarlet). They are familiar also in the field of mental acts and states (that jealousy and hatred are distinct emotions which can, however, of their nature, coexist in a single consciousness; that an individual cannot remember an event unless he has himself experienced that event).

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