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The Ludwig von Mises Institute

Advancing Austrian Economics, Liberty, and Peace

Advancing the scholarship of liberty in the tradition of the Austrian School

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Mises Made Easier
Percy L. Greaves Jr.


Obfuscated. Darkened or cast in the shadow or background; obscured by withholding proper light or emphasis; hence, confused, bewildered or lost sight of.

Objective use-value. The importance attached to a thing because of its technological capacity to produce chemically or physically a desired effect. An example would be the "heating value" or "heating power" of coal.

HA. 120-21,127.

Obversion. Transformation by logical inference of a proposition into an equivalent negative, contradictory or obverse proposition, as by inferring from the proposition, "all dogs have heads," that "no dogs are headless."

Oligarchy. Rule by a few or a small exclusive group.

Oligopoly, oligopolist. Literally, few sellers; a market situation in which a few individuals or business organizations own or control the total supply of a given commodity or service. An oligopolist is one of the few who own or control such a total supply.

Omnipotence. The state or quality of being almighty, all powerful, irresistible, able to overcome all opposition to the actor's will, including that of natural laws.

HA. 69-70.

Omnipresent. Present everywhere at the same time.

Omniscience. The state or quality of knowing everything. Omniscience is forever denied to human beings.

HA. 68,70; UF. 35.

Ontology. The science of being or reality in the abstract, particularly as related to ideas or theories.

Optimum returns, law of. See "Returns, law of," of which it is a part.

Originary interest. The inherent component of gross or market interest rates which represents the ever fluctuating ratio between the values assigned to want satisfactions in the immediate future and those assigned to want satisfactions in the more distant future. In short, the difference between the present values of present and future goods. In addition to the originary interest component, gross or market interest includes the entrepreneurial component (uncertainty of repayment) and the price premium component (anticipated changes in the future values of the particular goods, including the monetary unit, under consideration). For Mises' detailed critical analysis of Böhm-Bawerk's interest theories, referred to in Human Action, p. 488n., see Mises' Critique pp. 150 ff.

HA. 237,430,524-32,534-51,643; M. 349-64; OG. 251.

Oxford (University). Founded early in the twelfth century, Oxford University and its rival, Cambridge University, are the two oldest and most revered universities of Great Britain.

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