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Why only one Axiom?

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Wheylous posted on Mon, Mar 5 2012 7:11 PM

Geomtery has many. Why do Austrians use (or pretend to use) only one?

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It points out the primacy of force; the atomic fact.  It sets up the stage for the world we live in - the world of fact, process, perspective, consequence, manipulation, and material.

"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

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I'm a little confused by your point. There's a few axioms in Austrian Economic/Libertarian theory...the action axiom, the non-aggression axiom, etc. Supply and demand, marginal utility, etc. are also basically axiomatic in nature. (Not all axioms are stated directly as axioms, if you get my meaning). We could consider that there is also a time preference axiom, even.

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Your bringing up of geometry got me thinking. Perhaps action should be better understood as a primitive notion rather than as an axiom. There would then be multiple axioms in Austrian-school economics, and at least one primitive notion - action.

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Time preference, etc are consequences of action hence we can speak about them with their inevitable / law-like nature.

As for the NAP, it's simply not an economic theory.  It is a moral, or some other theory - but it has nothing to do with economics as such. 

"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

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Your bringing up of geometry got me thinking. Perhaps action should be better understood as a primitive notion rather than as an axiom. There would then be multiple axioms in Austrian-school economics, and at least one primitive notion - action.

 

 

something like this could work too - I was kind of thinking about that the other day

Ex:

The Mengerian scientific notion must require human action

after that you have thymology, praxeology, etc.

"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

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Oh, I agree 100% vive. My only point is that, although extensions from the action axiom, something like marginal utility can itself be considered an axiom, or at least axiomatic in nature. 

As to the NAA...Wheylous didn't specify that we were only talking about economic axioms (he said "Why do Austrians only hold one axiom?", not "Why do Austrians only hold one economic axiom?"), so I just included it in my list. 

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Austrians =/= AnCaps. It so happens that many AnCaps are "Austrians" (though it's likely that not many completely wield the economic understanding of some of the better users on here like Neodoxy and Smiling Dave).

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Rothbard has about 5:

http://mises.org/daily/5195/In-Defense-of-quotExtreme-Apriorismquot

non aggresion is not economics, but libertarian philosophy.

supply and demand and marginal utility are deducible from Rothbard's axioms, as shown in HA and AGD.

The rule is, one uses as few axioms as possible, because that way you have less to be challanged on. After all, an axiom is, by definition, unproven. In Euclid's time his axioms were considered self evident, despite being unprovable. Mises claims there is a deep proof of the action axiom. The others that Rothbard added are, in his eyes, self evident to anyone who looks around our little world.

In any case, Euclid would have loved to get by with less axioms, but he couldn't. He needed every last one that he enumerated. If economics truly gets by with less axioms than geometry, then it is in a certain sense superior to geometry.

 

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Where did I say that Austrians were Anarcho-Capitalists?

I was merely saying that an Austrian economist could agree with the Non-Aggression Axiom. (Yeah, I know, we're Wert-frei as economists, blah blah, but that's aside the point. Rothbard was an Austrian economist who believed in the NAA).

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vive la insurrection:
something like this could work too - I was kind of thinking about that the other day

Ex:

The Mengerian scientific notion must require human action

after that you have thymology, praxeology, etc.

Exactly. We actually understand each other for once. cheeky

I think at least one other primitive notion might be needed - satisfaction, or utility.

Also, action might not be a primitive notion after all. Mises defines it as "purposeful behavior", which could presuppose two more primitive notions, namely purpose and behavior.

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I was merely saying that an Austrian economist could agree with the Non-Aggression Axiom.

Why didnt you enumerate the axioms of set theory as well, or of physics and chemistry and biology, in fact all axioms in all fields of human knowledge? After all, an Austrain economist could agree with all of those, too.

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The non-agression principle is derived from the more fundamental axiom of argumentation. Essentially, there are two axioms in Austrian theory: action (economics) and argumentation (ethics). 

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Because I didn't feel like it?

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Because I didn't feel like it?

Excellent answer, literally LOLed. :)

And Ty for compliment, Wheylous.

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