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Austrian Economics, Evolutionary Psychology and Methodological Dualism: Subjectivism Reconsidered

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  • Vanberg, Viktor J.
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    Abstract

    The methodological individualism and subjectivism of the Austrian tradition in economics is often associated with a methodological dualism, i.e. the claim that the nature of its subject matter, namely purposeful and intentional human action, requires economics to adopt a methodology that is fundamentally different from the causal explanatory approach of the natural sciences. This paper critically examines this claim and advocates an alternative, explicitly naturalistic and empiricist outlook at human action, exemplified, in particular, by the research program of evolutionary psychology. It is argued that, within the Austrian tradition, a decidedly naturalistic approach to subjectivism can be found in F.A. Hayek's work. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Walter Eucken Institut e.V. in its series Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics with number 04/3.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:aluord:043

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    Keywords: Austrian economics; evolutionary psychology; methodological dualism; subjectivism;

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    1. Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    2. Erich Streissler, 1972. "To What Extent Was the Austrian School Marginalist?," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 426-441, Fall.
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