Praxeology as a Conventionalist Research Program

  • Alexander Linsbichler


Supported by passages from Mises, it is suggested that praxeology should be interpreted as a conventionalist research program. This proposal expands on positions defended by Puster, Cachanovsky, Zanotti, and Rizzo against Rothbard, Gordon, and Hoppe. The latter authors’ (synthetic) aprioristic, essentialist, or dogmatically rationalist interpretations are dismissed as highly ambiguous or unworthy of discussion by mainstream economists and modern philosophers of science alike. In contrast, a conventionalist core for microeconomics seems to be very acceptable if not taken for granted. It lays the ground for constructive discussions and fruitful comparisons between different explications of the analytic fundamental axiom amended by empirical hypotheses. Related to the conventionalist interpretation, it is maintained that Mises has no principled objections to the use of formal methods in economics as a means to check logical deductions and identify implicit assumptions. His praise of Karl Menger’s meta-economics corroborates this controversial claim.


Ludwig von Mises Conventionalist research program Formal methods Analytic Imre Lakatos Karl Menger 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Linsbichler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ViennaWienAustria

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