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Carl Menger and his philosophical influences

Krzysztof Turowski

Chapter 1 in Mengerian Economics, 2023, pp 1-20 from Edward Elgar Publishing

Abstract: Carl Menger, the founder of the Austrian School of economics, is known not only for his contributions to economics, but also for his methodological works, establishing the autonomy of economic theory and its appropriate methods. This, in turn, raises questions about the particular philosophical standpoint and presuppositions that he used in his consideration. In this chapter, we revisit the various claims about the philosophical background of Menger. Most importantly, we find hypotheses about his supposed Aristotelianism to be overstated, and we qualify them appropriately, according to the available texts. We argue that he can be called an Aristotelian only in a weak sense, sharing the overall perspective of scientific realism, methodological individualism, anti-idealism, and anti-positivism with modern neo-Aristotelians such as Franz Brentano. He shared also their broad worldview, although in methodological matters we show on several examples that it was rather the case that Menger blended this outlook with other, more modern influences, stemming from the empiricism of Mill and the organicism of XIX century philosophy.

Keywords: Economics and Finance; Politics and Public Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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