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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 221 of Israel Kirzner’s 1992 collection, The Meaning of Market Process; specifically, it’s from Kirzner’s 1990 essay “Discovery, Private Property and the Theory of Justice in Capitalist Society” (original emphasis):

A discovered outcome is not a result already embedded, in embryonic form, in any bundle of resources.  The outcome of an act of discovery is thus originated entirely by that act.  A newly discovered island rich in natural resources has been created, for purposes of social science, in the act of its discovery….  [A]s far as directly concerns human decision making and economic values – and human ethical judgements – the island entered into existence at the moment of its discovery.  Its discoverer was its creator, for all purposes of human concern.

Julian Simon, of course, would agree: the human mind – not least because of its ability to discover – is the ultimate resource.