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Communicative action and the radical constitution: the Habermasian challenge to Hayek, Mises and their descendents


  • David L. Prychitko
  • Virgil Henry Storr


This paper evaluates Jurgen Habermas's typology of action and his recent call for a radically democratic rule of law. The theory of action that Habermas develops, however, differs significantly from the science of action (praxeology) of the Austrian school. As such, it represents a methodological challenge to Austrian praxeology. Additionally, Habermas's criticism of the welfare state is shown to be somewhat consistent with Hayek's criticisms, but his alternative to the welfare state challenges the political vision of many Austrian economists. This paper attempts to demonstrate that both Habermas's and the Austrian school's efforts suffer from similar weaknesses and epistemological pretences. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

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  • David L. Prychitko & Virgil Henry Storr, 2007. "Communicative action and the radical constitution: the Habermasian challenge to Hayek, Mises and their descendents," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 255-274, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:31:y:2007:i:2:p:255-274

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Graham Dawson, 2015. "Interpreting Voluntary Exchange: Markets, Speech Acts And Communicative Action," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 240-255, June.

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