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Does praexology really tell us anything about economic efficiency and well-being?

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fakename posted on Sun, Nov 18 2012 8:28 PM

On the one hand, praexology does tell us that man is better off free than un-free because it proves that if man want's to supply a product, and others want to buy it, then the price of that product must inevitably decline. Price declines are good so praexology does tell us that man is better off free.

On the other hand, is it true that praexology tells us that any action which is voluntary must also be efficient? If I voluntarily, for instance, try to square the circle then I will never succeed and indeed, if someone were to force me not to, I would really save myself some heartache. At best, voluntary action seems to be necessary but not sufficient for efficiency and yet, I don't see how praexology applies merely to necessary conditions and not to both sufficient and necessary conditions for efficiency.

For instance, if I sell something to someone, that is sufficient for the price to drop and it is necessary for the price to drop. If at anytime I am coerced then an inefficieny happens somewhere. However, there are many more complicated and confusing issues that crop up for me, so I would like to see what others herer think.

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So what? That's just not the focus of praxeology, just as biology isn't about explaining force and energy.

Dude, I'm just trying to answer the OP's question. I'm not condemning praxeology or anything.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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gotlucky replied on Tue, Nov 20 2012 10:08 PM

Dude, I'm just trying to answer the OP's question. I'm not condemning praxeology or anything.

It was a response to what I quoted, but I said it after reading your whole post, which included this:

How can praxeology distinguish this from coercion without sneaking in some sort of normative view of right?

The point is that it's not the focus of praxeology. My response would have made more sense if it had been included with my response to the second part of your post.

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If that is the case though, then why is the praexological treatment of economics always used as a normative argument against the state?

Because the state is often justified through interpersonal utility comparisons, often in the guise of neoclassical economics.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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Because the state is often justified through interpersonal utility comparisons, often in the guise of neoclassical economics.

Then another clarification is in store for me. How do we define "success" praexologically? Success I believe means to attain one's ends. But if one's ends are to fail or for instance, if one's end is "to destroy the market" then perhaps my definition of success is incorrect. This is because in both cases, the end is attained even better the more violence that is applied towards the end, since violence destroys the market and any chance of being successful at anything.

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z1235 replied on Mon, Dec 10 2012 7:19 AM

I don't understand your confusion. For a person who aims to murder somebody, completing the murder is success.

 

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fakename replied on Tue, Dec 11 2012 11:43 AM

I don't understand your confusion. For a person who aims to murder somebody, completing the murder is success.

Good point.

 

Actually, wouldn't it be true that a desire for failure (whether in the forms of death or simple lack of attainment) would be actually contradictory, in that the attempt to fail should not be successful by the actor's own admission (talk about a 180 from my previous conception)?

This actually brings up other questions like, "if the above is true, then is success really simply the opposite of failure?". For if it is the opposite of failure then it follows that to succeed is to fail at failing which makes success a mere species of failure instead of something distinct.

But if that's too philosophical, I still don't think that praexology alone can tell us about economic success or failure because the definitions for failure and success are simply too broad and so they, as you mention, apply equally to murder as to buying/selling. So all we can say is that success for one person can be a failure for another etc.

 

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