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Praxeology: The Methodology of Austrian Economics

July 20, 2005

Tags Praxeology

Praxeology rests on the fundamental axiom that individual human beings act, that is, on the primordial fact that individuals engage in conscious actions toward chosen goals. This concept of action contrasts to purely reflexive, or knee-jerk, behavior, which is not directed toward goals. The praxeological method spins out by verbal deduction the logical implications of that primordial fact. In short, praxeological economics is the structure of logical implications of the fact that individuals act. This structure is built on the fundamental axiom of action, and has a few subsidiary axioms, such as that individuals vary and that human beings regard leisure as a valuable good.

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References

The Logic of Action One: Method, Money, and the Austrian School by Murray N. Rothbard (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 1997), pp. 58-77; The Foundations of Modern Austrian Economics, Edwin Dolan, ed. (Kansas City: Sheed and Ward, 1976) , pp. 19-39.