Remarks on receiving the lifetime achievement award
from the Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Order
George Mason University, February 7th, 2013
Israel M. Kirzner
Published online: 15 February 2014
Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
It is a great honor to receive this lifetime achievement award from the Fund for the Study
of Spontaneous Order. I am deeply grateful to the Fund for bestowing this honor upon me.
This award is being given in recognition of my scientific contributions to economic
theory. Now, in all my scientific work I have always been careful not to inject any
elements of my religious faith into the substance of my work—my goal being to
persuade objective students of my work that it is valid regardless of religious beliefs.
Nonetheless, at the beginning of each of my books, on the dedication page, I have
always acknowledged the Divine help with which that book had been written. I believe,
therefore, that it is appropriate for me at this moment, too, to express my profound
gratitude to the Creator for guiding me throughout my career.
As I look back on the chains of circumstance which led me to study under my
revered teacher, Ludwig Von Mises, and to the subsequent steps in my intellectual
development, it is impossible for me to claim the credit for my life’swork—Imust
unquestionable acknowledge the inscrutable working of the great Invisible Hand…
But all this does not in any way diminish my profound gratitude to the Fund for the
Study of Spontaneous Order for recognizing the significance of my work. I am most
grateful to Professor Peter Boettke for his role in arranging this award. And I am deeply
grateful to Professor Mario Rizzo, to Professor Peter Klein, to my dear friend of half a
century, Dean Henry Manne, and to Professor Don Boudreaux, for the generous and
sympathetic attention which they have paid to my work.
Virtually all of my work, ever since my doctoral dissertation of 1957, has consisted
in rediscovery and expounding the profound insights contained in the works of my
teacher, Ludwig von Mises, and his close disciple and colleague, Frederich A. Hayek. I
emphasize the notion of “expounding insights”,—and perhaps it is this notion which
encapsulates the guiding principle of my scientific endeavors.
Like most authors, I read published reviews of my books with great interest. In my
case, most of the published reviews have been, at best, lukewarm. One review which
gave me much pleasure was a review published in the (Londson-based) Institute of
Rev Austrian Econ (2014) 27:225–227
I. M. Kirzner (*)
Department of Economics, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA