The Moral Sciences

This article about J. B. Say (by Murray Rothbard) is interesting on several levels:

  • Say preceded Mises by over a century in describing a deductive methodology for economics. Say didn’t invent an awkward new word (“praxeology”) like Mises did: he just called it what it was.
  • Say’s criticisms of the physiocrats and Baconian induction reminds me of contemporary criticism of much macroeconomics.
  • Say:  “nations seldom derive any benefit from the lessons of experience” … and Rothbard explains why.
  • I like the reference to economics as one of the “moral sciences”. This could lead to a whole new area of study!

All in all, this article was very much worth the time.


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