Austrianism is a Praxeological Science, Not an Empirical One

Letter 1

From: Jeffrey Stewart

Re: Economics Question

Dear Dr. Block,

How, exactly how are prices of production or equilibrium prices determined in your theory?


Jeffrey Stewart

Letter 2

From: Walter Block <>

Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2020 7:19 PM

To: Jeffrey Stewart <>

Subject: RE: Economics Question

Supply and demand. Am I missing something?

Walter E. Block,

Letter 3

On 4/24/2020 11:10 AM, Walter Block wrote:

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

Letter 4

From: Jeffrey Stewart

Subject: Re: Economics Question

You STILL don’t have any empirical evidence for your theory.  And yet, you still believe it.  Why?

Letter 5

Dear Jeffrey:

Austrianism is a logical discipline, not an empirical one. I don’t have any empirical evidence that voluntary trade is necessarily mutually beneficial in the ex ante sense either, and, yet, I believe that too. Further, there can be no such empirical evidence. Should I stop believing in this? I also believe that man acts, since to deny it is to engage in an action. Again, I have no empirical evidence for this.  Should I stop believing in this too?

Hans Hoppe answers these objections thusly:

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1988. Praxeology and Economic Science, Auburn, Al.: Mises Institute, Auburn University;

“Whenever two people A and B engage in a voluntary exchange, they must both expect to profit from it. And they must have reverse preference orders for the goods and services exchanged so that A values what he receives from B more highly than what he gives to him, and B must evaluate the same things the other way around.

Or consider this: Whenever an exchange is not voluntary but coerced, one party profits at the expense of the other.

Or the law of marginal utility: Whenever the supply of a good increases by one additional unit, provided each unit is regarded as of equal serviceability by a person, the value attached to this unit must decrease. For this additional unit can only be employed as a means for the attainment of a goal that is considered less valuable than the least valued goal satisfied by a unit of such good if the supply were one unit shorter.

Or take the Ricardian law of association: Of two producers, if A is more productive in the production of two types of goods than is B, they can still engage in a mutually beneficial division of labor. This is because overall physical productivity is higher if A specializes in producing one good which he can produce most efficiently, rather than both A and B producing both goods separately and autonomously.

Or as another example: Whenever minimum wage laws are enforced that require wages to be higher than existing market wages, involuntary unemployment will result.

Or as a final example: Whenever the quantity of money is increased while the demand for money to be held as cash reserve on hand is unchanged, the purchasing power of money will fall.”

Best regards,



2:40 am on July 4, 2020