Source link: http://archive.mises.org/2258/theory-and-history-a-seminar/
Theory and History (a seminar)
These notes are from the seminar Theory and History, given at the Mises University. Any errors are mine, feel free to point them out so that I can correct them. This seminar was conducted by Prof. Hoppe and Prof. Hülsmann.
Errors Made by Historians
- Sequence of events cannot tell us about historical causes.
- Need some theoretical things not based on historical observations, but on good theories:
- Should be something you can logically recognize as true when you hear it.
- Does not need to be, and is not, based on historical observations.
- Prominent historians often give a sequence of events the wrong explanation. You encounter a multitude of clear misinterpretations of hisotircal events based on poor understanding of economic theories.
- Experimental physics.
- Individuality of events.
- Quantitative history.
- Natural sciences:
- No animism.
- Objects do not make choices.
- Human and social sciences:
- Events that come to bear on a paticular case.
- Theory: General factors of human action that take place in all times.
- Praxeology: human action.
- Economics: human action insofar as it can rely on economic calculation.
An Illustrative Example:
- The positivist tries to determine if an increase in money supply could result in a decrease in price-levels, accounting for other factors.
- The Austrian knows that because the money-supply has been increased, prices must be higher than they otherwise would have been, ceteris paribus (that is, if there is inflation, if you increase the money-supply, prices will be higher than they would be without that inflation).