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Isn't being a "clear thinker" like being the cleaner part of Lake Erie? Sure, by comparison it's not bad but it's still changing, shapeless and hazy. That's why no one (that I'm familiar with, at least) can write a passable first draft.

Quite enjoyable.

Imagine a "neo-classical"/math model of scientific advance -- there is no room for changes of understanding, conceptual novelty, conceptual advance. All that can go in are "givens" stuffed into the mathematical terms. There is no room for genuine conceptual growth and genuine novel discovery.

Apply this same contrast and insight to the difference between math models of "uncertainty", "error", "search" and Kirzner's effort to articulate genuine learning and discovery in a market context -- or Hayek's or Mises' (very limited) work in this area.

Neo-classicals = Carnap / the Bayesians on the advance of scientific understanding

Austrians = Kuhn / Popper / Hanson on the advance of scientific understanding

You did better than you say, Pete! I was surprised by your comments on Lucas and on game theory. I liked them, but I was surprised by them. Is that something new for you, or have I been missing something?

oh, and I liked that you said AE is just "neoclassical" done right or however you put it.


This "debate" is from 2002, it was the first formal 'debate' I ever participated in. And my view of Lucas and game theory is actually a position I have held since I was in graduate school, so I obviously haven't represented myself well in conversations with you. But it depends on what questions you are asking, right?


I don't like Caplan's take on probability theory (and the theory of knowledge is assumes), but then I really like Popper's propensity interpretation of probability.

You were right on target in your comment that anti-Austrians often argue that Rothbard equals Mises, therefore, if I demonstrate that Rothbard is wrong, then Mises must be wrong. That is also, if I remember it correctly, how Bryan Caplan argued in his "Why I am not an Austrian". Problem is that most people don't read Mises -I won't say that of Caplan- or, if they do, they don't get it. Kirzner, incidentally, said the same thing of Fritz Machlup.
Caplan, I think, could be wrong in denying the deer hunter's entrepreneurial function. Unless he hunts purely for recreational purposes, he might very well be an entrepreneur, if, for instance, that is his way of entertaining/feeding prospective business partners/clients--just as if Mises' shoe-shine boy gave away home made candy to his clients on top of shining their shoes.
I think you are a superb debater and defender of Mises.
It might interest you that a group of Austrians has recently grown out of -of all things- the Philosophy Department at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Professor Rolf W. Puster is making the gargantuan attempt to reinterpret the history of philosophy in light of Mises. Last year, he taught a seminar on Mises' Human Action.


Oh Lucas: I just missed it somehow. Prob'ly my bad. But how do you square that with some of your more vociferous remarks on science vs. literature?

Greg, Robin Hanson is a Bayesian who says he can't make heads or tails of what Austrians are claiming.

I was surprised to hear that Austrians put their bets on Clower/Leijonhuvud. I remembered hearing about the latter in Garrison's review of Meltzer's book on Keynes, where his theory was depicted as just a variety of Keynesianism. Also, I though UCLA was a sort of outpost of "freshwater"/Chicago economics. Demsetz & Alchian in the past, Ohanian now. I hadn't heard that there were a lot of Austrians there.

Alchian was deeply influences by Hayek ...

See the 1978 UCLA interviews with Hayek. Alchian's famous 1950 essay is a significant contribution to Hayekian economics.

Has Robin Hanson ever read Wittgenstein? Or Kuhn? Just a question.

The philosopher of science I mentioned earlier is Norwood Hanson.


what is your view on lucas? can I find a paper?


I tried to answer your comments on a pervious post, but I guess I was too late. At least I couldn't post my comment. Sorry.

Whoops, I'd never heard of Norwood Hanson. I guess the mention of "Bayesian" at a GMU econ prof's blog primed me to think of Robin.

Norwood Hanson is well worth reading.

Pete, your point about markets needing frictions to work is maybe something Bryan could be pressed on. It's a very typical UCLA-type point (some would say Austrian-inspired), but it hardly seems that mainstream neoclassicals recognize, much less emphasize that important point. Walter Williams often asked classes if they moved today to L.A. to get an apartment, would they like to see equilibrium there, where every apartment is offered at the market-clearing price and is therefore taken?

I really enjoyed the video! Thanks for the plug.

Arnold Kling writes on "radical uncertainty" here

Dr. Boettke,is this similar to your conception of radical uncertainty? I must admit I am not well-read enough to be familiar with the term.

I really like the subject I thinks its on me..:)
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