Horwitz's Misreading of Mises

Horwitz's error is to think that, if you introduce assumptions to your theorizing because of experience, that makes the result "empirical" or "applied theory." But that is not the case. For the truth of a theory, it makes no difference why it was constructed the way it was (that is to say, why it includes the assumptions it does). A self-contained theorem is true or false based on its logical structure, regardless of whether the assumptions are introduced because of experience, because of pure fancy, or for any other reason.

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The Measurement Chimera

While, after the advent of modern value theory, most economists accepted that valuation is not objective, and thus not cardinal, they just could not let go of cardinality altogether. Cardinality is necessary for the use of measurement and mathematics, and according to the prejudice of many thinkers, "science is measurement."

 

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