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Mises-Zitate - Theorie

By Ludwig von Mises on Jul 19, 2013. Comments (0)


„Denn das, um was es sich hier handelt, ist ein Versagen des Bearbeiters, nicht ein Versagen der Theorie. Mit einer Theorie kann man alles erklären. Theorien versagen nicht an einzelnen Problemen, sondern an der Unzulänglichkeit ihres Ganzen. Und wer eine Theorie durch eine andere ersetzen will, muß sie entweder in das gegebene System einfügen oder ein neues System aufstellen, in dem sie Platz findet. Es ist ganz und gar unwissenschaftlich, von einer »Tatsache«, die man gerade vor Augen hat, ausgehend, das Versagen der »Theorie« und des Systems zu verkünden. Das Genie, dem es gegeben ist, die Wissenschaft durch neue Erkenntnis zu fördern, kann aus der Beobachtung des kleinsten und für andere unscheinbarsten Vorganges zur tiefsten Erkenntnis geführt werden; sein Geist entzündet sich an jedem Gegenstand. Aber der Neuerer verdrängt das Alte durch ein Neues, nicht durch bloße Verneinung; er ist immer Theoretiker mit einem auf das Ganze und auf das System gerichteten Blick. ... Ihnen hat man einfach zu antworten: Versuchet ein System theoretischer Erklärung aufzustellen, das euch mehr befriedigt als unseres: Dann wollen wir erst weiter reden.“ (Mises, Kritik des Interventionismus<(i> (1929):28-29)

Mises Zitate - Was uns Euklids Logik über die reale Welt sagt

By Norbert Lennartz on Oct 20, 2010. Comments (0)


"The empiricist reaction against apriorism centers around a misleading interpretation of the non-Euclidean geometries, the nineteenth century's most important contribution to mathematics. It stresses the arbitrary character of axioms and premises and the tautological character of deductive reasoning. Deduction, it teaches, cannot add anything to our knowledge of reality. It merely makes explicit what was already implicit in the premises. As these premises are merely products of the mind and not derived from experience, what is deduced from them cannot assert anything about the state of the universe. [...] The axioms from which a deductive system departs are arbitrarily selected. They do not tell us anything about reality. There is no such thing as first principles a priori given to the human mind.[2] ...

In order to examine this philosophy, let us refer to the conflict between the Euclidian geometry and the non-Euclidian geometries which gave rise to these controversies. It is an undeniable fact that technological planning guided by the Euclidian system resulted in effects that had to be expected according to the inferences derived from this system. The buildings do not collapse, and the machines run in the expected way. The practical engineer cannot deny that this geometry aided him in his endeavors to divert events of the real external world from the course they would have taken in the absence of his intervention and to direct them towards goals that he wanted to attain. He must conclude that this geometry, although based upon definite a priori ideas, affirms something about reality and nature. The pragmatist cannot help admitting that Euclidian geometry works in the same way in which all a posteriori knowledge provided by the experimental natural sciences works. Aside from the fact that the arrangement of laboratory experiments already presupposes and implies the validity of the Euclidian scheme, we must not forget that the fact that the George Washington bridge over the Hudson River and many thousand other bridges tender the services the constructors wanted to get confirms the practical truth not only of the applied teachings of physics, chemistry, and metallurgy, but no less of those of the geometry of Euclid. This means that the axioms from which Euclid starts tell us something about the external world that to our mind must appear no less "true" than the teachings of the experimental natural sciences.

[...] The fortunate empirical fact [... is ...] that the human mind has the ability to develop theories which, although a priori, are instrumental in the endeavors to construct any a posteriori system of knowledge. Although logic, mathematics, and praxeology are not derived from experience, they are not arbitrarily made, but imposed upon us by the world in which we live and act and which we want to study.[4] They are not empty, not meaningless, and not merely verbal. They are—for man—the most general laws of the universe, and without them no knowledge would be accessible to man."

Quelle: Ludwig von Mises. The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science. Chapter 1: 'The Human Mind'. 'Section 1: The Logical Structure of the Human Mind' LvMI., online edition. (First edition: Van Nostrand, 1962.)

Mises-Zitate - Logischer Positivismus

By Norbert Lennartz on Oct 14, 2010. Comments (0)


"The essence of logical positivism is to deny the cognitive value of a priori knowledge by pointing out that all a priori propositions are merely analytic. They do not provide new information, but are merely verbal or tautological, asserting what has already been implied in the definitions and premises. Only experience can lead to synthetic propositions. There is an obvious objection against this doctrine, viz., that this proposition that there are no synthetic a priori propositions is in itself a—as the present writer thinks, false—synthetic a priori proposition, for it can manifestly not be established by experience."

Quelle: Ludwig von Mises. The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science. Sect. 'Some Preliminary Observations Concerning Praxeology Instead of an Introduction', chap. 4. 'The Starting Point of Praxeological Thinking'. LvMI., online edition. (First edition: Van Nostrand, 1962.)

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