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Praxeology and Method

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. 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.


~ Roderick Long

Primary Sources


Epistemological Problems of Economics By Ludwig von Mises


Human Action by Ludwig von Mises *Pages 1-140, 347-354*

Man, Economy, and State by Murray Rothbard *Chapter One*

The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science: An Essay on Method by Ludwig von Mises

Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution by Ludwig on Mises

Economic Science and the Austrian Method by Hans-Herman Hoppe

Individualism and Economic Order by F.A Hayek *Pages 57-76*

The Counter Revolution of Science by Friedrich Hayek

Economic Controversies By Murray N. Rothbard *Chapters 1-5*

Praxeology and Understanding by George Selgin

Origins of Praxeology and Austrian Method

Hipparchus by Plato *excerpts*

Protagoras by Plato

The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle *Book One and Book Ten*

Summa Theologica by Saint Thomas Aquinas

Principles of Economics by Carl Menger

Aristotelian Themes in Menger by Barry Smith

Intellectual and Political Roots of the Older Austrian School by Emil Kauder

The Philosophical Origins of Austrian Economics by David Gordon

The Methodological Debate Between Carl Menger and the German Historicists by Samuel Bostaph

Investigations into the Method of the Social Sciences by Carl Menger

The Errors of Historicism in German Economics by Carl Menger

The Historical vs. the Deductive Method in Political Economy by Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk

Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises *Pages 38-49/187-194*

Money, Method, and the Market Process Essays by Ludwig von Mises *Pages 3-51*

Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science by Lionel Robbins

The Economics and Ethics of Private Property Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy by Hans-Hermann Hoppe *Pages 265-304/347-379*

Praxeology and its Critics by Bruce Caldwell

Was Mises Right? by Peter T. Leeson and Peter J. Boettke

Subjective Theory of Value

Cost and Choice: An Inquiry in Economic Theory by James Buchanan

L.S.E. Essays on Cost by James M. Buchanan

The Ultimate Standard of Value by Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk

Value, Cost, and Marginal Utility by Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk

The Labour Theory of Value: A Critiques of Carsons Studies in Mutualist Political Economy by Robert Murphy

Nozick vs Block

On Austrian Methodology by Robert Nozick

On Robert Nozick’s ‘On Austrian Methodology’ by Walter Block

Robert Nozick on Austrian Economics by David Gordon

Hermeneutics Debates

On the hermeneutics debate: An introduction to a symposium on Don Lavoie's “The Interpretive Dimension of Economics—Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxeology” by Virgil Storr

The Interpretive Dimension of Economics: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxeology by Don Lavioe

Hermeneutics Versus Austrian Economics by David Gordon

The Hermeneutical Invasion of Philosophy and Economics by Murray Rothbard

In Defense of Extreme Rationalism: Thoughts on Donald McClosky's The Rhetoric of Economics by Hans Herman Hoppe

Hermeneutics and Economics A Criticism of Hermeneutical Thinking in the Social Sciences by Hans Albert

Hermeneutic Economics: Between Relativism and Progressive Polylogism by Pierre Perrin

Hermeneutics and Phenomenology in the Social Sciences: Lessons from the Austrian School of Economics Case by Nicholas Cachanosky, Gabriel Zanotti and Agustina Borella

Far from a Nihilistic Crowd: The Theoretical Contribution of Radical Subjectivist Austrian Economics by Paul Lewis

Another Defense of Methodological Apriorism by Joseph Salerno and Robert Greenfield


Some Problems of Behavioral Economics by Arkadiusz Sieroń

De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum by George J. Stigler and Gary S. Becker

A Problem with Paternalism by David Gordon

Why Paternalists Keep Calling us Irrational by David Gordon

The Lucas Critique and Austrian Economics

Econometric Policy Evaluation: A Critique by Robert Lucas

Modern Monetary Policy Evaluation and the Lucas Critique by Karl-Friedrich Israel

An Austrian Version of the Lucas Critique by Tobias Basse

 Analytic/Synthetic Distinction and Formulations of Praxeology

In Defense of Pure Reason: A Rationalist Account of A Priori Justification by Lawrence Bonjour

Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism by Michael Huemer

Phenomenal Conservatism and the Internalist Intuition by Michael Huemer

There Is No Pure Empirical Reasoning by Michael Huemer

The Compatibility of Hoppe's and Rothbard's Views of the Action Axiom by Gennady Stolyarov II

Praxeological Investigations by Roderick Long

Aristotle's Rationalism by Michael Frede

Aristotle's Rationalism: A Reply to Barnes by Yassaman Hoshyar

De-Kanting Mises and Hoppe, Notes Towards an Austrian School Metaphysics by Steven Yates

Apriorism, Introspection, and the Axiom of Action: A Realist Solution by François Facchini

On Praxeology and the Question of Aristotelian Apriorism By Geoffrey Allan Plauché

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

Aristotle, Menger, Mises: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Economics by Barry Smith

On the Austrianness of Austrian Economics by Barry Smith

The Question of Apriorism by Barry Smith

Barry Smith, Aristotelianism, apriorism, Essentialism by Peter Boettke

In Defense of Extreme (Fallibilistic) Apriorism by Barry Smith

The Philosophy of Austrian Economics by Barry Smith

Uneasiness and Scarcity: An Analytic ApproachTowards Ludwig von Mises’s Praxeology by Michael Oliva Cordoba

Austrian Economics Without Extreme Apriorism: Construing the Fundamental Axiom of Praxeology as Analytic by Alexander Linsbichler

Alternative Formulations of Praxeology

Mises and Lakatos: A Reformulation of Austrian Methodology by Mario Rizzo

On the Philosophy and Logic of Human Action: A Neo-Austrian Contribution to the Methodology of the Social Sciences by Michael Oliva Córdoba

Chamlee-Wright and Burawoy: Another Reformulation of Austrian Methodology by Joshua T. McCabe

Machlup and Praxeology

The Problem of Verification in Economics by Fritz Machlup

The Epistemological Implications of Machlup's Interpretation of Mises's Epistemology by Gabriel J. Zanotti and Nicolas Cachanosky

Mises and Diminished Apriori by David Gordon

Kotarbinsky and Praxiology

Kotarbiński’s Praxiology and Analytic Philosophy of Action by Marta Zaręba

The Virtues and Vices of Kotarbiński’s Praxiology by Piotr Tomasz Makowski

Epistemology of Economics by Paul T. Sagal

Kotarbinski's Praxeology - Henry Hiz

Neo-Kantianism and Praxeology

A Neo-Kantian Critique of Von Mises's Epistemology by Pierluigi Barrotta

Mises, the A Priori, and the Foundations of Economics: A Qualified Defence by Stephen Parsons

On the Philosophy and Logic of Human Action: A Neo-Austrian Contribution to the Methodology of the Social Sciences by Michael Oliva Córdoba

Austrian vs Neoclassical Methodology

The Limitations of the Scientific Method in Economics by Frank Knight

Toward a Reconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics by Murray Rothbard

In Defense of "Extreme Apriorism" by Murray Rothbard

Statistics: Achilles' Heel of Government by Murray Rothbard

New Directions in Austrian Economics edited by Louis M. Spadaro *Pages 40-56*

Pareto Optimality in Policy Espousal by Leland B. Yeager

Rational Economic Man: A Philosophical Critique of Neo-Classical Economics by Martin Hollis and Edward Neil

On Certainty and Uncertainty, Or: How Rational Can Our Expectations Be? by Hans Hermann-Hoppe

The Pareto Rule and Welfare Economics by Jeffrey M. Herbener

Giffen's Paradox and the Law of Demand by Peter G. Klein & Joseph T. Salerno *Video*

The Austrian Search for Realistic Foundations by Bryan Caplan

Why I'm not an Austrian Economist by Bryan Caplan

Austrian Theorizing: Recalling the Foundations by Walter Block

Economic Science and Neoclassicism by Jorg Guido Hulsmann

Probability, Common Sense, and Realism: A Reply to Hülsmann and Block by Bryan Caplan

Realism: Austrian vs. Neoclassical Economics, Reply to Caplan by Walter Block

Probability and the Synthetic A Priori: A Reply to Block by Bryan Caplan 

Rejoinder to Caplan on Bayesian Economics by Walter Block

Logical Economics vs. Mathematical Economics by Gene Callahan

Kaldor-Hicks Efficiency and the Problem of Central Planning by Edward Stringham

Choice and Preference by Gene Callahan

Facts and Counterfactuals in Economic Law by Jörg Guido Hülsmann

The Modern Theory of Consumer Behavior: Ordinal or Cardinal? by William Barnett

Realism and Abstraction in Economics: Aristotle and Mises versus Friedman by Roderick Long

Mises's Apriorism Against Relativism in Economics by Thorsten Polleit

The Mundane Economics of the Austrian School by Peter Klein

A Note on Giffen Goods by Peter G. Klein

Scale of Values Violates Singularism by Walter Block

Mathematics in Economics: An Austrian Methodological Critique by Robert Murphy and Walter Block

The Anti-Mathematically of Demand Curves by Walter Block and William Barnett

Reply to Caplan on Austrian Economic Methodology by Walter Block

Rothbardian Demand: A Critique by Marek Hudik

Thymology, Praxeology, Demand Curves, Giffen Goods and Diminishing Marginal Utility by Walter Block

Bryan Caplan, All in One Place Posted by Smiling Dave

In Counterfactuals, We're All Dead by Mateusz Machaj

Economics Needs A Divorce by Mencius Moldbug

Transitivity and the Money Pump by Walter Block and William Barnett


Transitivity: A Comment on Block and Barnett by Marek Hudwik

What is Extreme About Mises’ Extreme Apriorism? by Scott Schaell

Caplan on Probability, A Critique by Walter Block and Igor Wysocki

The Giffen Goods Phenomenon in the Austrian School Perspective by Er'el Granot

The Giffen Good — A Praxeological Approach by Walter Block and Igor Wysocki

The Z Curve: Supply and Demand for Giffen Goods by Gabriel Philbois and Walter Block

A Defense of Rothbard on the Demand Curve Against Hudik’s Critique by Walter Block

Homogeneity, Heterogeneity, the Supply Curve, and Consumer Theory by Igor Wysocki and Walter E. Block

The " Income Effect " in Causal-Realist Price Theory by Joseph Salerno

The Income Effect Reconsidered by Karl Israel

The Giffen Paradox Revisited by Hai-Trieu v. Nguyen

The Wealth Effect and the Law of Demand: A Comment on Karl-Friedrich Israel by Joseph Salerno

Income and Substitution Effects: A Rejoinder to Professor Joseph Salerno by Karl-Friedrich Israel

Demonstrated Preferences as the Middle Ground Between Revealed Preferences and Modern Behaviorism by Hai-Trieu Nguyen

Probability Theory and Economics

Quantitative Methods in Economics Can Describe—but Not Explain—Events by Frank Shostak

The Correct Theory of Probability by Murray Rothbard

Why the Definition of Probability Matters by Mark R. Crovelli

The Enduring Allure of Objective Probability by Robert F. Mulligan

Probability and Insurance by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

The Limits of Numerical Probability: Frank H. Knight and Ludwig von Mises and the Frequency of Interpretation by Hans-Herman Hoppe

John Maynard Keynes and Ludwig von Mises on Probability by Ludwig Van den Hauwe

On the Possibility of Assigning Probabilities to Singular Cases, or: Probability Is Subjective Too! by Mark R. Crovelli

Single Trial Probability Applications: Can Subjectivity Evade Frequency Limitations? by David Howden

Has David Howden Vindicated Richard von Mises’s Definition of Probability? by Mark Crovelli

Can Probability Theory Deal with Entrepreneurship? by Vlad Tarko

No Interpretation of Probability by Wolfgang Schwarz

The Interpretation of Uncertainty in Ecological Rationality by Anastasia Kozyreva and Ralph Hertwig

Praxeology and Indifference


A Note on Preference and Indifference in Economic Analysis by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Rejoinder to Hoppe on Indifference by Walter Block

Further Notes on Preference and Indifference: Rejoinder to Block by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

A Note on Block-Hoppe Debate on Indifference by Igor Wysocki


A Praxeological Case for Homogeneity and Indifference by Mateusz Machaj

Rejoinder to Machaj on Indifference by Walter Block

Choice and Indifference: A Critique of the Strict Preference Approach by Ben O'Neill

Response to O'Neill on Indifference by Walter Block

Indifference: In Defence of Orthodoxy by Igor Wysocki


The Universal Categories of Praxeology in Light of Natural Semantic Metalanguage Theory by Paweł Dziedziul

Wittgenstein’s Philosophy and Austrian Economics by Richard McDonough

Weber's Sociological Elements in Mises' Economics of Human Action by Milan Zafirovski

Bayesianism and Austrian Apriorism by Frank Van Dun

Praxeology as Law and Economics by Josef Sima

Praxeology, Economics, and Law: Issues and Implications by Larry Seachrest

Austrian Economics and the Problems of Apriorism by Jan Pavlik

The Pretense of Knowledge by Friedrich A. Hayek

Economic Science vs. Mathematical Economics by Juan C. Cachanosky

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