German neoliberalism, as represented by the so called Freiburg School, was mainly influenced by the economist Walter Eucken. Eucken’s economic methodology can only be understood if placed in the context of the German philosophical and sociological debate of that time. The revelation of these connections is at the center of this paper. To this purpose, first, the influence of Max Weber and of his ideal typical approach will be discussed. Second, the role played by Walter Eucken’s father, the philosopher Rudolf Eucken and the significance of the Freiburg phenomenologist Edmund Husserl for the concept of ordoliberalism will be analyzed. Third, it will be shown that Eucken’s method is set against all relativist currents and sustained by the hope of discovering the “realm of truth” (Edmund Husserl) in economics as well. On this basis, Eucken’s oeuvre can be characterized by the aspects of order, freedom and truthfulness.
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 28, 2013
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