Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
Division of Labor and Society: The Social Rationalism of Mises and Destutt de Tracy
ABSTRACT: Ludwig von Mises’s social rationalist views on society, first discussed in Salerno (1990), do not appear to have any precursors in the history of economic thought. The present paper highlights the contributions of a French philosopher, A.L.C. Destutt de Tracy, to the theory of social development as one precursor of Mises’s theory. I use extensive textual evidence to highlight the important similarities between the social theories presented in De Tracy’s Treatise on Political Economy and Mises’s Human Action. The systematic exposition of these social rationalist views focuses on three aspects: their praxeological foundation, the economic factors which bring about human association, and the global consequences of these social phenomena.
KEYWORDS: social theory, rationalism, human action, division of labor, Ludwig von Mises, Destutt de Tracy
JEL CLASSIFICATION: B10, B31, B53
Cite This Article
Dorobăț, Carmen Elena, "Division of Labor and Society: The Social Rationalism of Mises and Destutt de Tracy," Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 18, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 436–455.