Monday, January 17, 2005

Mises, Friedman and Rand

An interesting article contrasting their styles respectively:

MISES, FRIEDMAN AND RAND:A METHODOLOGICAL COMPARISON

Three of the most respected and influential free-market thinkers of the 20th century are Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), Milton Friedman (1912- ), and Ayn Rand (1905-1982). The purpose of this essay is to compare and evaluate the respective methodological approaches of each of these theorists who have influenced the course of history with their ideas. We will see how and why Rand's realist approach is superior to both Mises' rationalism and Friedman's empiricism.

The Randian or Objectivist view is that the best way for judging a model or a theory is to examine the plausibility of its assumptions. As Ayn Rand herself would put it, "Check your premises." Ayn Rand's methodological approach overcomes the false alternatives of rationalism and empiricism by explaining how abstract knowledge of reality can be soundly derived from valid perceptual experience. Her method for overcoming these dichotomies includes a number of processes such as differentiation, induction, integration, deduction, reduction, measurement omission, and so on.



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