ABSTRACT

In what follows I shall deal in some detail with the methodological views of arguably the major Austrian methodologist, Ludwig von Mises, who held his views very strongly. However, successive Austrians have developed or modified his methodological stance. Consequently a detailed treatment of his views saves us much repetition when I consider contemporary Austrian methodology. I shall then submit Mises' position to criticism and see how some contemporary Austrians such as Ludwig Lachmann, Israel Kirzner, Murray Rothbard and Mario Rizzo have responded to such criticisms. This will then lead us to a particularly interesting feature of this discussion which relates to Popper. Another notable Austrian, Friedrich Hayek, is credited with being a Popperian and if true, this renders his methodological perspective very different from most other Austrians. I will analyse this characterisation and suggest that it is exaggerated, indeed it is more instructive for informing us more precisely about the true relevance of Popper's contribution for economic methodology. In fact, certain important features of Popper's approach were elaborated much earlier by Mises! The chapter will then conclude with a brief assessment of the contribution of Austrian methodology.