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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.

W

Weber-Fechner law. Ernst H. Weber (1795-1878) proclaimed his law of psycho-physics that the least noticeable increase in the intensity of a human sensation is always brought about by a constant proportional increase in the previous stimulus. Gustav T. Fechner (1801-1887) developed this into the Weber-Fechner law that to increase the intensity of a sensation in arithmetical progression, it is necessary to increase the intensity of the stimulus in geometric progression.

Wehrwirtschaftslehre, (German). The teaching of the economics of war or defense, or the economics of military weapons and supplies.

Welfare principle, welfare economics. The popular theory of a group, sometimes called the welfare school, who believe they can improve capitalistic conditions by interventions which they claim will reduce poverty, economic insecurity and inequalities in income and wealth. Their policies are inconsistent with their aims in that they seek higher living standards for the masses while advocating policies which grant special privileges that tend to reduce human incentives and capital accumulation, without which higher productivity and living standards become impossible. AC. lll; B. 42; HA. 833-854.

Weltgeist, (German). World spirit or intellect.

Wertfrei, adj. Wertfreiheit, n., (German). Literally, "value free" and "value freedom." Actually, neutral with regard to all judgments of value (q.v.). All sciences, including economics, are wertfrei.

EP. 35-37, 57; HA. 47-48.

Wirtschaftliche Staatswissenschaften, (German). The economic aspects of political science.

B. 83; HA. 62,605,761-62.

Wotan. Also Woden and Odin. The god of war and wisdom.

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