http://critiquesoflibertarianism.blogspot.com/2009/05/parable-of-ship-why-austrian-economics.html

Austrian Economics is allegedly unscientific because it "has a methodological disrespect of data". Strange statement for a math teacher. After all, mathematics also has a methodological disrespect of data. Is math also unscientific then? Mike does not say.

Then follows the parable of the ship. The owner of the ship fails to identify the most important causes of his ship sinking, so the ship sinks. Analogously, according to Mike, Austrians fail to identify the most important causes of problems like "inflation or disease or whatever", because they have a methodological disrespect of data.

Mike does not seem to understand what "methodological disrespect of data" is. Mathematics

*theory*also has a methodological disrespect of data, but does it mean mathematics cannot be used to interpret data? Of course it can, it is

*the*most accurate tool to interpret data concerning unconscious matter out there. Analogously, Austrian Economics

*theory*has methodological disrespect of data, but still is

*the*most accurate tool to interpret conscious action data out there. Mathematics is so useful to interpret data

*precisely*because it has methodological disrespect of data. Otherwise it would be specific data dependent, hence useless in most applications. But mathematics is data

*independent*. Same for Austrian Economics. It is

*independent*of real world data, so it can be safely used for accurate interpretation of

*any*real world data that concerns conscious action.

It is therefore true that "Austrianism is staunchly against measurement", because measurement is "philosophically invalid", for the purpose of

*validating theory*. However, to say Austrian Economists do "not use measurement" just because they don't need data to validate their economics theory, is same as to say that mathematicians do "not use measurement" because they don't need data to validate their math theory. What an ignorance. Austrians do analyze and interpret real world data, just read virtually any article at http://www.mises.org/

Mike goes on to say that "since Austrians are innumerate, instead they must rely on their assumptions". No, Austrians rely on their self-evident assumptions and logical conclusions precisely to be able to accurately interpret numerical data out there.

Then we read that "no assumption about the real world is totally true". Mike demands "total" truth, whatever that means. Sure, maybe we all live in a Matrix with our whole lives programmed, who knows. Still, I personally think it is useful to make a working assumption we don't. I don't really need "total" philosophical truth. There is only one such truth, ie that we exist, in some form. But there is nothing really useful you can deduce from it. So in addition to that "total" one truth, I also believe, for example, that people prefer leisure to work. In other words, this truth is "total" enough for me.

Mike agitates further that "you MUST introduce measurement and mathematics into your models if you want to have any hope of valid answers." No, you must precisely NOT introduce measurement into your models if you want your models to be measurement independent.

Finally, surprisingly, Mike says a very true statement that "logical verbal models are sufficient to specify possible chains (or networks) of causation, but telling which are significant is a quantitative problem that requires measurement." Perfect! Looks like Mike again does not seem to understand what he fights against...

Mike ends his article with a quote from... David Hume, while, as TheLowlyPhilosopher in one of the comments noted, "the main contribution to modern philosophy that Hume is known for is his argument against the certainty of induction and thus science. Hume famously is known for his argument that just because the Sun has risen for billions of years we cannot be certain that it will rise tomorrow. We cannot derive certainty from scientific observations (induction). Thus Hume rejected the idea that science and induction could give us absolute knowledge only probable knowledge." Precisely!

"mathematics also has a methodological disrespect of data. Is math also unscientific then? Mike does not say."

OdpowiedzUsuńMathematics is unscientific. Everybody should know that basic fact. Mathematics is performed very differently than science.

Your division of "data" into two categories, "data concerning unconscious matter" and "conscious action data" is one of the laughable aspects of Austrianism.

"But mathematics is data independent. Same for Austrian Economics. It is independent of real world data, so it can be safely used for accurate interpretation of any real world data that concerns conscious action."

Mathematics is entirely dependent on assumptions. If the assumptions are not met in the real world, then it cannot be "safely used for accurate interpretation". Likewise, Austrianism is entirely dependent on numerous assumptions, but none of them are met in the real world. Even something as simple as 1 + 1 = 2 has assumptions that are not always met in the real world: 1 drop of water + 1 drop of water can coalesce into 1 drop of water.

To say a mathematical theorem is valid is to say that it is correct FOR ITS ASSUMPTIONS. Euclidean geometry is valid for the assumption that space is flat. But it is invalid for the assumption that space is curved. It is obvious that the assumptions of Austrianism do not apply to our real world, just as it is now obvious that flat space doesn't apply to our real world. Austrianism is staunchly against measurement because that would make it even plainer that there must be massive errors in the assumptions.

'Mike demands "total" truth, whatever that means.'

Plainly you do not understand the first thing about science, nor are you capable of paraphrasing what I've written. Science works just fine without "total truth": it makes models and tests how accurately they correspond to measurements of what is modelled. The goal is greater accuracy and reliability of knowledge, not truth.

"No, you must precisely NOT introduce measurement into your models if you want your models to be measurement independent."

The only way you can have a model which is measurement independent is if it has no inputs. If it has no inputs, then it cannot distinguish between two situations, and thus must always give the same output. That's stupid.

Let me know when you learn (a) the difference between science and math, (b) the conditional nature of truth in math and (c) how to read something and paraphrase correctly. Then we can move on to your problems with analysis.

"Mathematics is unscientific."

OdpowiedzUsuńOkay, but you've missed my point. All the "disrespect of data" arguments you've used against Austrian School can also be used against mathematics. In other words, "disrespect of data" does not itself make Austrian School less valid. And if you come to think of it more, it makes Austrian School all the more valid (below).

"It is obvious that the assumptions of Austrianism do not apply to our real world, just as it is now obvious that flat space doesn't apply to our real world"

I'll be happy to read more sources that rebut Austrian assumptions, I've already analyzed all you've (indirectly) included in your index (basically in Caplan and Kangas posts). Also I analyzed one dedicated solely to Austrian assumptions written by Lord Keynes:

http://critiquesofcollectivism.blogspot.com/2011/01/apodictic-certainty-of-praxeology.html

I guess you may want to include Lord Keynes' original post in your Austrian Economics links.

"Science [...] makes models and tests how accurately they correspond to measurements of what is modelled"

Yes, but only when your studies are REPEATABLE, which requires ceteris paribus controlled conditions, which do not exist with conscious human interactions. You keep to ignore this essential component of any valid scientific procedure again and again:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

"scientific methodology prefers that hypotheses be tested in controlled conditions which can be reproduced by multiple researchers", only then "cognitive biases are diminished"

Otherwise, what mainstream economists are doing, they just take some one-off historical data and tweak their model's constants to force neat correlation. Even a retard could "successfully" use scientific method this way, just give him a hammer. Yes, there's the hypotheses creation and testing part, but again, no REPEATABILITY.

"The only way you can have a model which is measurement independent is if it has no inputs."

No, a model which is measurement independent simply do not employ arbitrary constants derived from observation.