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Austrian Economics, the Coordination Criterion and Classical Liberalism

Austrian Economics, the Coordination Criterion and Classical Liberalism Israel M. Kirzner0 1. Introduction Classical liberalism consists of a set of political ideals reflecting, for perhaps most of its adherents, both (a) "absolute" moral convictions, and (b) purely "instrumental" utilitarian considerations. These latter considerations are usually identified with the conclusions of economic science. Economics, and in particular Austrian Economics, is generally held to teach that economic efficiency, prosperity and success can be expected to result from free market arrangements. In this way, Austrian Economics is seen as an important intellectual foundation for classical liberalism. This paper explores the interface thus held to exist between science and political conviction. 2. Wertfreiheit and all that This topic is, of course, an old o n e . 1 Max Weber famously criticized members of the German Historical School for illegitimately injecting their personal judgments of value into their scientific work, thus rendering their conclusions * A first version of this article had been presented at the XXth Session of Universite d'Ete de la Nouvelle Economie, University of Aix en Provence, September 3, 1997. ° Professor of Economics, New York University, New York, USA. 1 The author offers no apologies for being old-fashioned enough to take for granted throughout this paper http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaines de Gruyter

Austrian Economics, the Coordination Criterion and Classical Liberalism

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by the
ISSN
2194-5799
eISSN
2153-1552
DOI
10.1515/jeeh-1998-2-301
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Israel M. Kirzner0 1. Introduction Classical liberalism consists of a set of political ideals reflecting, for perhaps most of its adherents, both (a) "absolute" moral convictions, and (b) purely "instrumental" utilitarian considerations. These latter considerations are usually identified with the conclusions of economic science. Economics, and in particular Austrian Economics, is generally held to teach that economic efficiency, prosperity and success can be expected to result from free market arrangements. In this way, Austrian Economics is seen as an important intellectual foundation for classical liberalism. This paper explores the interface thus held to exist between science and political conviction. 2. Wertfreiheit and all that This topic is, of course, an old o n e . 1 Max Weber famously criticized members of the German Historical School for illegitimately injecting their personal judgments of value into their scientific work, thus rendering their conclusions * A first version of this article had been presented at the XXth Session of Universite d'Ete de la Nouvelle Economie, University of Aix en Provence, September 3, 1997. ° Professor of Economics, New York University, New York, USA. 1 The author offers no apologies for being old-fashioned enough to take for granted throughout this paper

Journal

Journal des Économistes et des Études Humainesde Gruyter

Published: Jun 1, 1998

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