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Praxeology, Value Judgments, and Public Policy

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07/20/2005Murray N. Rothbard

Ethics is the discipline, or what is called in classical philosophy the "science," of what goals men should or should not pursue. All men have values and place positive or negative value judgments on goods, people, and events. Ethics is the discipline that provides standards for a moral critique of these value judgments. In the final analysis, either such a discipline exists and a rational or objective system of ethics is possible, or else each individual's value judgments are ultimately arbitrary and solely a result of individual whim. Furthermore, praxeology is not grounded on any value judgments of the praxeologist, since what he is doing is analyzing the fact that people in general have values rather than inserting any value judgments of his own.


Murray N. Rothbard

Murray N. Rothbard made major contributions to economics, history, political philosophy, and legal theory. He combined Austrian economics with a fervent commitment to individual liberty.


 The Foundations of Modern Austrian Economics, Edwin Dolan, ed. (Kansas City: Sheed and War, 1976), pp. 89-111; The Logic of Action One (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 1997), pp. 78-99.