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What is Alertness?


  • Koppl Roger

    (Fairleigh Dickinson University)


Israel Kirzners concept of alertness is recast in the language of phenomenological psychology. Our ideas about things are either openended ideas posing no particular problem of choice, open possibilities, or alternatives to choose between, problematic possibilities. Choice is the process of formulating problematic possibilities; it is the process of reinterpreting ones situation. The fully formed reinterpretation generates the chosen outcome as a necessary consequence of preferences and perceived constraints. Reinterpretation precedes choice, both logically and temporally. This understanding of alertness helps to clarify Austrian ideas such as the idea that preferences do not exist apart from action.Le concept de vigilance dIsrael Kirzner est reformulé dans le langage de la psychologie phéno- ménologique. Nos idées à propos des choses sont souvent des idées à finalité ouverte ne soulevant pas de problème particulier de choix, des possibilités ouvertes, ou des alternatives de choix entre des possibilités problématiques. Le choix est un processus de formulation de possibilités problématiques ; cest le processus consistant à réinterpréter nos propres situations. Dans sa formulation ultime, la réinterprétation génère le résultat choisi comme conséquence nécessaire des préférences et des contraintes perçues. La réinterprétation précède le choix, et logiquement et temporellement. Cette compréhension de la vigilance aide à clarifier les idées Autrichiennes telle que lidée selon laquelle les préférences nexistent pas indépendamment de laction.

Suggested Citation

  • Koppl Roger, 2002. "What is Alertness?," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-13, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:12:y:2002:i:1:n:2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2001. "On Rationality, Ideal Types and Economics: Alfred Schuutz and the Austrian School," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 14(2-3), pages 119-143, September.
    2. Koppl, Roger, 2001. "Alfred Schutz and George Shackle: Two Views of Choice," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 14(2-3), pages 181-191, September.
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