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Refuting the Scientific Method Argument.

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Scott M Posted: Fri, Jul 31 2009 1:34 AM

Greetings all, I suppose a small introduction is needed since this is my frist and certainly won't be my last time posting here. My name is Scott and I've currently been on an academic adventure ever since hearing Ron Paul speak during the last presidential election. Ron Paul sparked my interest in politics before that I was apathetic but always held ideals of privacy and less government but never really had a party or group to build and share ideas based on these values.

Ever since I heard Ron Paul I became enthustsatic watching all his videos then eventually buying his most book and reading it in a day. In the back of the book there was a listing of all sorts of books that he reccomended, WOW! I thought there is a whole economic school of thought based on what I believe in. I then ordered Murray Rothbard "What has the government done to our money" and then the addiction to Austrian economics began like heroin coursing through a junkies blood stream. From Rothbard to Mises to Schiff and Hazlitt and Sennholz I've becommed obsessed these last six months with reading their works.

Now to my question my fellow Austrians which is what is the best book/article/information you can think of that trys to refut the common argument we always get "Austrians are pseudo economists because they don't follow the scientific method". I'm reading Rothbard's a history of banking and I've read some things on mises praxeology but I'm looking for some more information that you'd feel best counters this argument.

Thank you guys I really apperciate you taking the time to help me!

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i need laboratory tests to know what it means to save, spend, profit, loss, compete, private property, income, purchasing power, I can't make any statements about utility and value unless i use a scientific method? 

do we get free cheezeburger in socielism?

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In Human Action there are lots of refutations of the scientific method applied to social sciences as economy. You also have Economic Science and The Austrian Method, of Hans-Hermann Hoppe: http://mises.org/pdf/esam.pdf

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DD5 replied on Fri, Jul 31 2009 9:03 AM

 

I would like you to please tell me how mainstream economists practice the scientific method.

Let's see now.  Economists use faulty and absurd logic to arrive at mathematical equations, which they have no way of verifying (or refuting) by any sort of controlled experimentation, statistical empirical evidence usually shows they have no relation to reality, and Austrians are practicing pseudo-economics?

Honestly, this claim can only come from those who are unfamiliar with the scientific method.

 

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I agree DD5

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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If you don't like reading, here's an hour long speech by Hans Hoppe on the subject:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1079797247947962124

Austrians do it a priori

Irish Liberty Forum 

 

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Small (but v. important) clarifier: Austrians do not seek to "refute" the scientific method but to delimit the sphere of applicability of the hypothethico-deductive methodology to the natural sciences, insofar as they do in fact use it. Their own method is "scientific" insofar as it yields a body of knowledge. Mentioning refutations of the scientific method just makes Austrians seem crankish and misrepresents the body of epistemological work the school adheres to. They have made rather pithy attacks on positivism though, as have most modern epistemologists as it's full of holes sorry to say.

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

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wilderness replied on Fri, Jul 31 2009 11:40 AM

Jon Irenicus:

Small (but v. important) clarifier: Austrians do not seek to "refute" the scientific method but to delimit the sphere of applicability of the hypothethico-deductive methodology to the natural sciences, insofar as they do in fact use it. Their own method is "scientific" insofar as it yields a body of knowledge. Mentioning refutations of the scientific method just makes Austrians seem crankish and misrepresents the body of epistemological work the school adheres to. They have made rather pithy attacks on positivism though, as have most modern epistemologists as it's full of holes sorry to say.

Excellent way of putting it.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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Spideynw replied on Fri, Jul 31 2009 12:31 PM

Scott M:
Now to my question my fellow Austrians which is what is the best book/article/information you can think of that trys to refut the common argument we always get "Austrians are pseudo economists because they don't follow the scientific method". I'm reading Rothbard's a history of banking and I've read some things on mises praxeology but I'm looking for some more information that you'd feel best counters this argument.

There are not any economic schools of thought that use the scientific method.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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To paraphrase what I've written elsewhere:

The empirical scientific method is effective in the natural sciences only insofar as the scientist is able to control the experiment, the elements of the experiment are simple and few, and the correlations that result are enormous and cannot be easily explained in any other way.  Statistical economics fails on all three counts.  Statistical treatments of natural science in which these criteria are not met also fail (like climate modelling).

Yes, the natural sciences which met the criteria I outlined above achieved more success with inductive methods than with the deductive methods of the past.  But the social sciences have shared not one whit of that success with inductive methods.  In fact, every single one of the economic laws that are considered uncontroversial by even mainstream economists were discovered by the causal-realist approach of pre-positivist economics.  There is not a single non-contentious economic law derived from the attempts to ape the scientific method of the natural sciences, even among the mainstreamers.  Now that is a sign of failure.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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I do think social engineering is an experiment, such as what the central bank does and even a government especially those heavy on the socialist, communist spectrum.  The Nazi's had medical doctors monitoring the gas chambers taking notes and experimenting as to the best way to kill people.  They are doing A to the society and A is not working.  So I say let's not do A and rid the central bank and the government.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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Scott M:
Now to my question my fellow Austrians which is what is the best book/article/information you can think of that trys to refut the common argument we always get "Austrians are pseudo economists because they don't follow the scientific method".

Try this book.

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Conza88 replied on Sun, Aug 23 2009 7:49 AM

http://mises.org/rothbard/mantle.pdf

The Mantle of Science by Murray N. Rothbard

May help?

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Scott M:

Greetings all, I suppose a small introduction is needed since this is my frist and certainly won't be my last time posting here. My name is Scott and I've currently been on an academic adventure ever since hearing Ron Paul speak during the last presidential election. Ron Paul sparked my interest in politics before that I was apathetic but always held ideals of privacy and less government but never really had a party or group to build and share ideas based on these values.

Ever since I heard Ron Paul I became enthustsatic watching all his videos then eventually buying his most book and reading it in a day. In the back of the book there was a listing of all sorts of books that he reccomended, WOW! I thought there is a whole economic school of thought based on what I believe in. I then ordered Murray Rothbard "What has the government done to our money" and then the addiction to Austrian economics began like heroin coursing through a junkies blood stream. From Rothbard to Mises to Schiff and Hazlitt and Sennholz I've becommed obsessed these last six months with reading their works.

Now to my question my fellow Austrians which is what is the best book/article/information you can think of that trys to refut the common argument we always get "Austrians are pseudo economists because they don't follow the scientific method". I'm reading Rothbard's a history of banking and I've read some things on mises praxeology but I'm looking for some more information that you'd feel best counters this argument.

Thank you guys I really apperciate you taking the time to help me!

The clearest/best explanation I have personally come across to date is still LVM's  short [for him] essay "The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science" 

Financial safety consulting: http://www.onebornfreesfinancialsafetyreports.blogspot.com/


For more information about onebornfree, please see profile.[ i.e. click on forum name "onebornfree"].

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onebornfree:

I'm not sure that is relevant.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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