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Structure, agency and causality in post-revival Austrian economics: tensions and resolutions

  • Paul Lewis
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    This paper aims to illustrate the benefits that accrue from critical realism's sustained, explicit reflection about ontological issues. The paper pursues this aim by examining the work of radical subjectivist Austrian economists as it has developed since the post-1974 revival in the fortunes of the Austrian school, focusing in particular on their account of the generation of socio-economic order in decentralized market economies. Ambiguities and tensions can be discerned in the radical subjectivist account of the causal forces at work in the market process. It is argued that the conceptual resources required for resolving those tensions and ambiguities are to be found in critical realism. The final section of the paper draws out some of the broader implications of the suggested resolution for radical subjectivist Austrian economics.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 291-316

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:17:y:2005:i:2:p:291-316
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    1. Beaulier Scott & Boettke Peter, 2000. "Of Norms, Rules and Markets: A Comment on Samuels," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 10(4), pages 1-8, December.
    2. Cowan, Robin & Rizzo, Mario J, 1996. "The Genetic-Causal Tradition and Modern Economic Theory," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 273-317.
    3. Vaughn,Karen I., 1994. "Austrian Economics in America," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521445528, October.
    4. Boettke, Peter & Fink, Alexander, 2011. "Institutions first," MPRA Paper 32093, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Peter Boettke & J. Robert Subrick, 2001. "From the philosophy of mind to the philosophy of the market," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 53-64.
    6. Hodgson, Geoff, 1986. "Behind Methodological Individualism," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 211-24, September.
    7. G. B. Madison, 1994. "Phenomenology and economics," Chapters, in: The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics, chapter 6 Edward Elgar.
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