Thursday, October 7, 2010

mises missed his measles

“In Political Economy, accordingly, hypothesis is never used as a help toward the discovery of ultimate causes and laws." This is a direct quote from the article we read. I have to disagree with Mises on this issue, amongst others. I am no master on politics, but I have taken a couple of classes in political science. What I have determined after writing several papers on different subjects of political science is that when studying the political landscape, especially in terms of economics, political scientists look for trends. So for example they might determine whether people voted for more economic control by the government in the last recession, then they might compare the situation to present day and draw conclusions. In this way they do try to, just like in economics, which Mises called a priori science, make logical justifications based on “logical human behavior”.
My other critique comes in when Mises talks about prediction in natural sciences. He talks about how in science we make assumptions, and there is no way of knowing whether something will work or not. What he fails to mention is that in science things tend to work on principles and rules. A chlorine atom is always negatively charged, or some molecules and always polar and others non polar. Scientists use this proved and worked out theory to help guide them when making predictions. It is not a random prediction, and in most cases the study and theory do end up with a hypothesis that is correct. Im most cases scientists don’t get results they didn’t expect, all they get is new directions, or new leads to discovering new rules/ laws. I feel like the author misrepresented the scientific method.

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