The Missing Link


Developing Austrian Economics into Austrian Ethics.

An Outline

by Peter J. Preusse, February 2014

The works of Rothbard and Hoppe can be understood as an evolution of the Austrian School from rational economics to rationally justified ethics, which in turn would make up the logically complete foundation of economics. The structure of this intellectual edifice is outlined in a condensed way and the already elaborated complementary third axiom will be further developed.

A stringent, consistent and factually accurate representation of the human condition is found in the new formula which is: the autonomous equal rank of self-owning bearers of the right to valuate. By depicting the ‘dignity’ of humans, i.e. their position, this representation can replace the vaguely phrased appellative term ‘equality’ of humans as such by the short formula of the human rank.

This is the mirror-image equivalent of deconstructing the overloaded and consequently vague term freedom into a simple definition. Simultaneously, it bases the desideratum of freedom on the solid deduction of the given of self-ownership from the self-evident axioms of action, variety, and human rank.

Further need for clarification is shown with regard to the axiomatic character of autonomous equal rank of self-owning bearers of the right to valuate. Also addressed is its relationship to the demand that all ethical maxims be universalizable.

The limited scope of even this expanded ethical theory is shown.

The full article (after Paris AERS)

Speech given at the Mises Institute's Austrian Economic Research Conference 2013 (21 min)
The full article (after Paris AERS)
PDF-Dokument [223.8 KB]