Mises explained what Thymology was ,but has anyone tried to examine it's range of inquiry or tried to sketch what conclusions it would come to? how would this even be done?
I don't really want to comment or read anything here.I have near zero in common with many of you.I may return periodically when there's something you need to know.
Near Mutualist/Libertarian Socialist.
I probably am not of use on this subject? I believe thymology is more the physiological study of psychology. Like, the more times we do some actions the better we get at them. This forms sort of river beds in the mind. Examining the mind is hard for several reasons. One I find is that in general folks use themselves as a reference point on to how others think, value, and reason. Thinking about how the mind works is like a multitasking, one must try to contemplate what it is like to think while they are trying to think about it.
It is unfortunate that a more radical and physiological approach to psychology isn't more status quo.
Seems to me that psycho-analysis is a field of prejudices!
fyi, that is wholly incorrect.
I am wrong?
Let me be more factual. From Mises Made Easier...
Psychology. Psychology is concerned with the minds of men. It has two major meanings. The sciences of human action are not primarily concerned with the physiological meaning, sometimes known as natural or experimental psychology. Whenever Mises refers to psychology in economic studies, he has in mind what some call "literary psychology" and which he has called "Thymology" in Theory and History and The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science. In this sense, psychology "is on the one hand an offshoot of introspection and on the other a precipitate of historical experience. It is what everybody learns from intercourse with his fellows. It is what a man knows about the way in which people value different conditions, about their wishes and desires and their plans to realize these wishes and desires. It is the knowledge of the social environment in which a man lives and acts."
It signifies the cognition of human ideas, emotions, volitions, motivations and value judgments which are an indispensable faculty of everyone. It is the specific understanding of the past which gives men an insight into the minds of other men. Psychology, like economics, starts with the individual. It concerns the internal invisible and intangible events of the mind which determine man's value scales which result or can result in action.Economics begins at the point psychology leaves off.
I am speaking from a limited understanding of the Sensory Order, if Hayek's experimental psychology could be considered thymology. Thank you for correcting me Grayson. Do you support psycho-analysis? To me; it seems like psychoanalysts like to classify folks.
Is it acceptable to say thymology is the anthropological study of human action in time, present and past?
Is there a book on it? Can someone recommend a few papers on it?
Bank run,your not wrong.
I recently read Ultimate Justification of Economic Science.You are indeed correct.
Mises split Psychology into what he called Naturalistic Experimental Psychology and Thymology or 'literary Psychology' which covers values,ideas,emotions and the like.He said the former is empircal and the latter is a priori.
He also mentions it in Theory and History,Epistemological Problems of Economic Science and Human Action.I'm surprised to have noticed here a number of times some people claiming that Mises believed psychology and Praxeology was the same thing.
Mises did seem to favour Psychoanalytical Psychology and Freud and it seems that's what he was implying by thymology.
"Is it acceptable to say thymology is the anthropological study of human action in time, present and past?"
If I remember rightly Mises says Thymology is part of history.
"Is there a book on it? Can someone recommend a few papers on it?"
There isn't anything more really than Mises has sketched.Mark Sunwall has tried to develop a hermeneutic kind of Thymology.It's interesting but isn't exactly comprehensive ,thorough or easily understandable.
I've not read the two books you mention, but I believe that "literary psychology" has a very different meaning than psycho-analysis. Freud and the early Jung worked on removing aberrant problems from individuals, and in their research to develop theories of the internal formation of these problems.
Literary psychology was the primary form of literature in the 17th to early 19th centuries. Try some Balzac. Writers used intense and very sensitive observations of the words and actions of people, both in society and in private life, to conclude and understanding of their character and their personality. To severly oversimplfy the difference between these two words, personality described the external social behaviors, which character described their internal motivations, values, and beliefs.
Most books in the period were novels having to do with some particularly interesting phase or events in a persons life. Often love, such as Romeo and Juliet. Also common was virtue vs corruption of character.
Becuase Jung followed the 'literary pshychology", and so told Freud at the begining of their relationship, and was far less interested in aberrant problems, he left Freud after 4-5 years and practiced and studied much further toware normal developement in internal character tending toward very spiritual interpretations.
Today there has been a school following Skinner's psychological practices which study the effect of actions, and repeating actions on the emotions of individuals. This school is not going out of favor.
I think the definition of "Thymology" is "the study of why people did what they did".
Which, if correct, means that plenty of books have been written about it.
EDIT: An old thread revived. Is that bad?
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It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer
Here's a bit of Mises to support that definition:
Thymology has no special relation to praxeology and economics. The popular belief that modern subjective economics, the marginal utility school, is founded on or closely connected with “psychology” is mistaken.
The very act of valuing is a thymological phenomenon. But praxeology and economics do not deal with the thymological aspects of valuation. Their theme is acting in accordance with the choices made by the actor. The concrete choice is an offshoot of valuing. But praxeology is not concerned with the events which within a man’s soul or mind or brain produce a definite decision between an A and a B. It takes it for granted that the nature of the universe enjoins upon man choosing between incompatible ends. Its subject is not the content of these acts of choosing but what results from them: action. It does not care about what a man chooses but about the fact that he chooses and acts in compliance with a choice made. It is neutral with regard to the factors that determine the choice and does not arrogate to itself the competence to examine, to revise, or to correct judgments of value. It is wertfrei [value free].
Why one man chooses water and another man wine is a thymological (or, in the traditional terminology, psychological) problem. But it is of no concern to praxeology and economics.The subject matter of praxeology and of that part of it which is so far the best developed—economics—is action as such and not the motives that impel a man to aim at definite ends.
Which leads me to wonder what Walter Block meant when he wrote about Austrian Thymologists Who Predicted the Housing Bubble
I'm guessing he is using the word thymologist to mean "applied economist" or "predictive economist". I don't know why. Maybe that's what it's come to mean in the course of time within the AE community.
I am not very familiar with Thymology, but is that similar if not the same as R.D Laing's work or the existentialism work of some Philosophers?
Would another example of a thymology be the works of Terrance Mckenna, the social psychological study of the human mind and experience? I know a lot of his most popular videos are stupid and about crazy things, but he has said a lot of interesting things about culture and the way the human mind works and how it effects the social experience.
Does anyone know much about thymology? Dictionary.com never heard of it.
Thinking about it a bit more, a more accurate definition would be the study of why people want what they want, [and praxeology the study of how they go about getting what they want].
If I have it right, then R D Laing seems to fit right in there.
As for existentialist philosophy, that seems to be preaching about what you should want [=to be responsible] than explaining why you want something.
Terrance Mckenna seems to be, from a quick look at Wikipedia, about how the seemingly mindless universe is really one giant factory out to build the ultimate new car.
Thymology (or 'literary psychology') simply refers to the study of man's ends (or what they have been in the past). This is far, far older than praxeology - indeed, it is present in Homer. As for theoretical study of such things, this was attempted by the south-west German school (e.g. Max Weber), and its offshoots (e.g. Talcott Parsons). Thymology cannot be studied under the same deductive method as praxeology, but instead relies on verstehen (understanding) of the causes of another's action. Also, since causality of action is not the same as that of objects in the natural world, this method of verstehen is always going to be imprecise.
If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH
What more is there to say?
Read Theory and History, chapter 12, [though I bet you already have].
Smiling Dave:[though I bet you already have]
Mises mentions it a bit in The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science and the Mises wiki article on the subject is a stub containing, practically, all that is mentioned in that work. I was unaware that he develops it elsewhere.
I think we need people to just go out and do it. The field is mostly wide open. Rothbard did a lot of work that could be considered thymological in nature (his revisionist histories). Thomas Woods follows in this great tradition. There's just so much to be done, the field is ripe for the picking. Basically, it just boils down to having the competence and cajones to stand up and just start putting puzzle pieces together as best as they can fit.
For a thymological treatment of King David, read this critical biography. The author is in no way Austrian but his methodology is frankly thymological, based on the "verstehen" method Aristippus mentions, even though he doesn't call it that. This book had a ground-shaking effect on my outlook on the world. At the time, I was a Christian who took most of the Biblical narratives at face value. The Biblical stories of King David are nothing less than ancient propaganda. Thin justifications are laid on top of his many obviously brutal, evil, mean and despicable acts. So twisted are these justifications that they actually spin David into the "King after God's own heart." If tha'ts the case, we're all in very, very big trouble.
By the time McKenzie finishes, you are left with the feeling of being hit over the head with the realization that the stories of King David are some of the most ancient - and most successful! - propaganda ever. The propaganda is actually very crude and easier to see through than modern propaganda. But the essential features of propaganda are all there. Anyway, I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in modern work in the tradition of the Higher Criticism.
Well I think with Mises that thymology has been ubiquitous since the beginning of human thought. The origin of gods etc. is the attribution of motives and purposive action to natural phenomena, i.e. people attempting to thymologically understand the actions of the sun, of the wind, of lightning, of the seasons etc. The reason that Mises gave such little space to defining thymology is because he saw that the attempt to understand the purposes of action is so basic to human thought (as is action in general, hence its axiomatic nature in praxeology).
In particular written studies, thymology appears from the beginning. In perhaps the first detailed statement of historical method, Thucydides states that the speeches he quotes are not necessarily what the individuals to whom he attributes them actually said, but rather what they would have said. Here he is attempting to thymologically understand the aims of these subjects, and put the words detailing these aims into their mouths.
Just as a side note, I do not think that the King David presented in the Bible actually existed, but is rather a legendary and possibly eponymous hero (maybe based on a god).
I do not think that the King David presented in the Bible actually existed, but is rather a legendary and possibly eponymous hero.
McKenzie starts off with this question and concludes that David could possibly be a single person and his name could possibly have been David but it doesn't really matter to the point he wants to make in analyzing the Biblical narrative. If David was not a single, historical king ("chieftain" would, perhaps, be more accurate), then he is a mish-mash of the court histories of several such figures, possibly written much later from oral histories and then synthesized.
The Babylonian captivity is a likely time and place for this to have occurred. For example, the "upper class" captives may have collected pre-Solomonic oral history into a single narrative of the Judges, Saul and David and dressed David up into this heroic figure in order to impress their captors with the grandiosity of their heritage.
McKenzie identifies editorial mistakes that reveal layers of modifications and re-modifications of the texts. For example, he shows discrepancies between the accounts of Goliath in Samuel versus Chronicles that show it is likely that Goliath was actually killed by a Judaic champion (Elhanan?) but the texts were later changed to attribute this feat to David instead.
Many of the stories must be about real events precisely because the authors went to such great lengths to spin them. Once you peel back the propaganda, what you find is the story of a brutal, petty, mean tyrant, a person of no great character or remarkability.
I think the existence of any such oral history of Judea from before the Persian settlement in the region is extremely doubtful. It seems much more likely that the sources used to compile the books of Samuel, Judges etc. were Assyrian and Babylonian chronicles and king-lists, as well as foreign and local legends, and that these stories were formed many centuries after the events they narrate. But yes, many of the stories may have been based on actual people or legendary renditions of their deeds.
>Mises explained what Thymology was ,but has anyone tried to examine it's range of inquiry or tried to sketch what conclusions it would come to?
You've used thymology in posting here since you successfully forecasted that others would be interested in reading and responding to your post. Even a child can use thymology.
Basically, thymology is any kind of assessment of people's motives - either their historical motives or predicted future motives. It is not a science, but an art. Unlike praxeology, it can come to no conclusions - only interpretations or speculations.
I think mathematically modelling people's behavior falls under thymology. Also, to improve your thymology, try learning about general principles of forecasting. Maybe learning about history, psychology, or investing strategies would help too?
were Assyrian and Babylonian chronicles and king-lists, as well as foreign and local legends
Any book/article recommendations on this are welcome. I have some familiarity with a lot of the monkey-business surrounding the formation of the New Testament canon but I've always been intensely curious about what we can figure out about the Jewish canon based on textual/historical analysis. Other than McKenzie's book, I've not read anything else on this subject.
You might want to look at:
Philip R. Davies, Whose Bible Is It Anyway?
Philip R. Davies, Scribes and Schools
Russell E. Gmirkin, Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus: Hellenistic Histories and the Date of the Pentateuch
Michael D. Magee, Persia and the Creation of Judaism. Available online: http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Religions/non-iranian/Judaism/Persian_Judaism/Persia_created_judaism.htm
Thomas L. Thompson, The Bible in History: How Writers Create a Past
Thomas L. Thompson, The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David
Thanks for the recommendations.
I think another possible developable area of praxeology is workplace organization. Specifically the different types of workplace organization: workers co-ops (democratically managed) and standard managerial types are the two that come to mind.
The Anarch is to the Anarchist what the Monarch is to the Monarchist.
This may be why we should look to the Austrian subjectivist / egoist Freud, as "positivists" / traditional analytic people have an unwarrented hard-on for behviorism and/or or cognitive science.
At the very least I think it may be a good over simplistic analogy for us:
Austrians are to Freud as Neoclassicals are to behaviorism
things like "Oedipus Complex" are no more or less a scientific phrases as "positive stimulus" or whatever math numbers you wish to throw out there.
"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann
"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence" - GLS Shackle