102 REVIEWS and corporate governance. Its subjectivist orientation correctly recognizes that “a portfolio of businesses can be swiftly rebalanced, but the capabilities that constitute the productive assets within that portfolio cannot. Nor can the relationships between these capabilities” (pp. 25–6). In “Mises and Lachmann on Human Action” (chapter 3), Stephen D. Parsons reconsiders Lachmann’s criticism of Ludwig von Mises’s strictly a priori methodology. He then turns a criticism on Lachmann himself. Parsons ﬁrst mounts an argument against Mises’s extreme a priori claims. Unlike Lavoie (1986), who attempted to reinterpret what Mises “really meant” with the a priori by taking a hermeneutical turn, Parsons seems more sensitive to the tensions in Mises’s extreme stance. Mises conﬂates phenomenology and epistemology; on the other hand he distinguishes a priori knowledge from the theory that is deduced from it, and claims both are necessary to understand human action; likewise, he distinguishes between praxeology and economic theory, but again claims that both are necessary to understand human action (p. 36). Parsons rightly appreciates that “Mises is appealing to a much broader conception of ratio- nality than that operating in rational choice theories” (p. 37). This is something subjectivists ought to emphasize and further clarify.
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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