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The Foundations of Austrian Economics from Menger to Mises

A Critico-Historical Retrospective of Subjectivism Allen Oakley, former Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Newcastle, Australia
This landmark book presents a critical study of the Austrian subjectivism of Menger and Mises and assesses their contribution in the light of contemporary philosophy of the human sciences.

Allen Oakley lays emphasis on the subjectivism of Menger and Mises as the foundation of Austrian economics. By situating their work in the context of the philosophies of the human sciences evolving around them, he shows how these founders of the modern Austrian tradition failed to fully appreciate and to adopt the more penetrating subjectivism of their contemporaries. He argues that, as a result, they left their successors an incomplete and ambiguous metatheoretical legacy.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $145.00 Web: $130.50
Publication Date: 1998
ISBN: 978 1 85898 308 0
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Austrian Economics
  • Economic History
  • History of Economic Thought
This landmark book presents a critical study of the Austrian subjectivism of Menger and Mises and assesses their contribution in the light of contemporary philosophy of the human sciences.

Allen Oakley lays emphasis on the subjectivism of Menger and Mises as the foundation of Austrian economics. By situating their work in the context of the philosophies of the human sciences evolving around them, he shows how these founders of the modern Austrian tradition failed to fully appreciate and to adopt the more penetrating subjectivism of their contemporaries. He argues that, as a result, they left their successors an incomplete and ambiguous metatheoretical legacy.

For historians of economic thought and for economic philosophers and methodologists the book provides a critical study of a fundamental theme of Austrian economics that is still the subject of controversy today.
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. Germanic Foundations 3. Carl Menger’s Seminal Subjectivist Legacy 4. Wilhelm Dilthey and Subjectivism: The Human Sciences 5. Metatheory of the Sciences of Culture and of Man 6. Human Agents and Rationality in Max Weber’s Metatheory for the Human Sciences 7. Mises and the Subjectivism of Economic Action 8. A Retrospective Summary Index