Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on September 16, 2017

in Hayek, Scientism

… is from page 97 of volume 13 of the Collected Works of F.A. Hayek (Studies on the Abuse & Decline of Reason, Bruce Caldwell, ed., 2010):

Society as we know it is, as it were, built up from the concepts and ideas held by people; and social phenomena can be recognized by us and have meaning to us only as they are reflected in the minds of men.

DBx: Social sciences such as economics, history, and political science cannot be usefully done using the same methods as the physical sciences.  Human meaning – human ideas and understanding – are, at their core, what these sciences seek to explain.  To treat prices and quantities, for example, in the same way that physicists treat molecules and planets reflects a complete failure of the economist to understand what it means to theorize usefully about human society.

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