May as well ask this question while I'm at it. Since we're at Mises, I assume we are (mostly) Austrians in some fashion. But, which person unaffiliated with the Austrian school impacted you a great deal? It can range from any discipline, but I'm mostly looking at philosophy.
I'm a huge fan of the following people and my worldview is basically a synthesis (with varying degrees of proportion) of: Christopher Hitchens (just for his antitheist tirades ), Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus, J.L. Mackie, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Henry David Thoreau, Dan Dennett, Carl Sagan, H.L. Mencken, and Max Stirner.
Max Stirner, Hermann Hesse, Terence McKenna
Ayn Rand, yeah she is great.
A ton. More than I can count. Stirner, Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, Epicurius and Aristotle off the top of my head for people who have had a profound impact on me more than any Austrian (or economist) that may be appropriate to this forum. The list could honestly go on much longer (and into much more personal ground) and into territories that are much morerelevant and remote to this forum.
There are many, but one who comes to mind is Thomas Sowell. When I read his Basic Economics years ago it started me on the path that ultimately led me to libertarianism. He's a brilliant man and often puts forth unique arguments and perspectives in favor of positions that I already agree with him on, so it's always refreshing to hear what he has to say. I sometimes think people like him are useful to Austrians because they can bridge the communication gap between ourselves and neoclassical/Chicago school types.
I'm tempted to say 'Sowell' but I consider him to be a bit tent Austrian - if you read his 'knowledge and decisions'; it really doesn't get any more Austrian than that; imo.
Anyway; besides the standard non-Austrian libertarians; obviously Aristotle, Michael Oakeshott, John Rawls, Robert NozickDeirdre McCloskey, Tom Palmer, Berman, Herzlinger, H.B. Acton, Schloeck and so on and so forth.
If we're talking really big impact; probably Michael Oakeshott, John Rawls and Robert Nozick. It's hard to think of any others at this point.
The state is not the enemy. The idea of the state is.
David Friedman. Nassim Taleb. Many others. Fan of stoicism.
David Friedman. Nassim Taleb. Many others. Fan of stoicism.
If you want and can find the time, would you like to elaborate on NN Taleb a bit? Not because I don't get why's on the list, but I have his Black Swan lying around somewhere and I'm trying to estimate wether or not I should take the time to read it. :)
AdrianHealey:If you want and can find the time, would you like to elaborate on NN Taleb a bit? Not because I don't get why's on the list, but I have his Black Swan lying around somewhere and I'm trying to estimate wether or not I should take the time to read it. :)
I think he is brilliant at epistemology. I find his perspectives and insights useful when acting in general and analyzing human action specifically.
David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Carl Sagan, and Richard Dawkins -- to name just four.
The keyboard is mightier than the gun.
Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.
Immanuel Kant. Though he is not that popular anymore, Mises formulated praxeology in accordance to Kants writings. His work in ethics shows what ethical at the core means. His political work, is, like almost anything at that time, statist but still influences politics. His epistemology is great and influenced many many thinkers. His work in general was very influential and I still have to read most of his great works.
The mentioned Nietzsche and Taleb are also on my list. So far my list is very very very short, but I'm still young and hope to have some time to find more thinkers to light my way.
Eric Arthur Blair, AKA George Orwell. He was the beginning of my "Path to darkness".
George Celente because of his brilliant predictions, and Josiah Warren.
Orwell, how could I forget.
+10 points to you
In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!
Robert Prechter, president of Elliottwave International and uber-deflationist. He actually has written a couple of dailys on Mises, but I'm not sure he's quite Austrian. He likely holds quite fiercely to the idea of IP, otherwise his market forecasting newsletter business would be a shell what it is. At the bottom of his newsletter, there in small print, is language that states something like "we will trace down any illegally distributed copies of these newsletters".
David Friedman pushed me in the right direction with "The Machinery of Freedom."
Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" restored several long-lost braincells.
I quote Henry David Thoreau, every once in a while.
Clement Attlee, and his insights on the intentions and moral justifications for welfarism and democratic socialism, et al in The Social Worker
Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss. Yes, they're all scientists. They've all helped me understand the universe (that sounds quiet hippy-ish) and the whole "is there a creator" thing.
Quine and Dennett
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead, specifically), Julius Evola, and Anton LaVey (even though I don't fully agree with his philosophy as it's very materialistic, but I found his ideas eye opening). It's an odd list, but these are the top three that stand out that. I could add Stephen Flowers to this list, even though he's more of a historian in esoteric and religious matters, his books are what got me interested in a lot of different religions and cultures.
Malcolm X, Henry Thoreau, David Friedman, Prophet Muhhamad (as), my father, Locke, George Galloway, Chomsky, John Stossel, and Michael Crichton. The first two instilled a strong libertarian foundation in me at a young age.
Especially Thoreau, he's my favorite philosopher period. Malcolm X may seem odd for some people here, but I never had such an urge for freedom, and an understanding that not only can groups change, but more significantly individuals. Now I know there is no difference. George Galloway is one of my favorite politicians, though he is a socialist. Crichton is a general influence, I love his books.
Freedom has always been the only route to progress.
Libertyandlife:Malcolm X, Henry Thoreau
Hmm, post deleted?
hmmm... never thought of this before, but i would say: Milton Friedman, Richard P. Feynman (here's a great take on his views on social scientists), Douglas Adams, and Henry Hazlitt
The great Count Tolstoy!
+1 Orwell. 1984 was one of those books that changed my life.
W.V.O. Quine, Daniel Dennett, Douglas Hofstadter, Richard Dawkins, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Arthur Schopenhauer, Michel Foucault, Richard Posner, Herman Melville, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Paul Churchland, Steven Pinker, Edward O. Wilson, Ray Kurzweil, Herbert Spencer, William Graham Sumner, Alan Turing, HP Lovecraft, Chuang-tzu
Alfred Marshall, Leon Walras, Vilfredo Pareto, George Stigler, Gary Becker, David Friedman, Robert Lucas, Bryan Caplan, Steven Landsburg
"I'm not a fan of Murray Rothbard." -- David D. Friedman
The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.
I applaud your genius in being able to understand Chuang-tzu, that guy is one of the hardest chinese philosophers for me.
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky, who defended natural law and opposed moral relativism.
Einstein, Sagan, Bill Nye, Michio Kaku, Adam Smith, Jefferson, Paine, Socrates, Hume, Orwell, Bruce Lee, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, most prophets of Judaism (not Moses!), pre-neolothic man, Darwin, Dawkins, Corporate Avenger (both of them), Tyler Durdin (do ficitonal characters count?), Rush, the Beatles, Machiavelli (more as an enemy tho), Henry II, my friends and family... wow, this list could go on a little time. For anyone I forgot, I still love ya!
I don't see why my original post was deleted tho, maybe cuz I said Marx and Trotsky (yes, they are still in my list, just being honest.) ...?
EDIT: Carlin and Chomsky, the most important two.
2pac , malcolm x , joseph stalin and lady gaga
Richard Feynman, Richard Bach, Douglas Adams, Charles Bukowski (i wanted to overthrow the government but all i brought down was somebodys wife :)), Richard Dawkins, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, George Orwell, Walt Whitman, Percy Shelley, Friedrich Nietzche, Henry David Thoreau, Bertrand Russell...
Schopenhauer, Nietsche, Mencken, Zed,
Criminals, there ought to be a law.
Criminals there ought to be a whole lot more. Bon Scott.
Tom Palmer, David Friedman, Milton Friedman, Saint Aquinas.
Come to think of it, no.
First and foremost Hal Varian for his exemplary intermediate microeconomic textbook, and all those cited therein, which at once taught me intermediate micro and sparked my interest in further study of economics.
And then in no particular order, Cowen, V. Smith, Schelling, Kahneman & Tversky, Hanson, Caplan, M. Friedman, Becker, Akerlof and a few others I'm probably missing out.