, Volume 14, Issue 2-3, pp 119-143

On Rationality, Ideal Types and Economics: Alfred Schüutz and the Austrian School

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A comparison is made of the views on economic theory and method of the Austrian philosopher and sociologist Alfred Schütz (1899–1959) and those of his mentor, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973). Schütz basically agreed with the fundamental parts of the Austrian program, but he also had disagreements with Mises on the epistemological character of the core assumptions, on the formulation and status of the rationality principle, and on the use of ideal types in economic analysis. In several of these aspects Schütz had important points of value not only for the use of ideal types in economic modeling, but also within political science and sociology. In the end, however, there is more which unites than separates Schütz and Mises.