Main Article Content
The pivotal point in the Austrian literature on homogeneity, choice and indifference was constituted by Nozick’s On Austrian Methodology. Nozick provoked a long debate on the above notions within Austrianism. The aim of this paper is to elaborate such an account of homogeneity that would take the sting out of Nozick’s challenge and allow for non-trivial formulation of the law of diminishing marginal utility. Hence, we shall first take a closer look at the debate on indifference within the Austrian camp, while defending and building upon the Hoppean account vis-à-vis Block’s criticism. Our justification of the Hoppean position shall consist in showing that his account of the correct description of an action is not an ad hoc move aimed at solving just one problem of indifference but is highly intuitive and widely applicable. We conclude by restating the above-mentioned law, thus demonstrating that the Nozickian objection can be successfully replied.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Block, W.E., 1980. On Robert Nozick’s ‘On Austrian methodology’. Inquiry [Online], 23(4), pp.397–444. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/00201748008601918 [visited on 20 December 2021].
Block, W.E., 1999. Austrian theorizing: Recalling the foundations. The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics [Online], 2(4), pp.21–40. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12113-999-1029-4 [visited on 20 December 2021].
Block, W.E., 2009a. Rejoinder to Hoppe on Indifference. The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 12(1), pp.52–59.
Block, W.E., 2009b. Rejoinder to Machaj on Indifference. New Perspectives on Political Economy, 5(1), pp.65–71.
Block, W.E. and Barnett II, W., 2010. Rejoinder to Hoppe on indifference, once again. Reason Papers, 32, pp.141–154.
Davidson, D., 1963. Actions, Reasons, and Causes. The Journal of Philosophy [Online], 60(23), pp.685–700. Available at: https://doi.org/10.2307/2023177 [visited on 20 December 2021].
Davidson, D., 2001. Agency. Essays on actions and events. Second edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp.43–61.
Hoppe, H.H., 2005. Must Austrians embrace indifference? Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 8(4), pp.87–91.
Hudik, M., 2011. A note on Nozick’s problem. The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 14(2), pp.256–261.
Machaj, M., 2007. A praxeological case for homogeneity and indifference. New Perspectives on Political Economy, 3(2), pp.231–238.
Menger, C., 2007. Principles of Economics. Auburn AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Mises, L.V., 1998. Human Action. Auburn AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Nozick, R., 1977. On Austrian Methodology. Synthese [Online], 36(3), pp.353–392. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00486025 [visited on 20 December 2021].
O’Neill, B., 2010. Choice and Indifference: A Critique of the Strict Preference Approach. The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 13(1), pp.71–98.
Parfit, D., 2011. On What Matters. Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rothbard, M.N., 2009. Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles; with Power and Market: Government and the Economy. Auburn AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Rothbard, M.N., 2011. Toward a reconstruction of utility and welfare economics. Economic controversies. Auburn AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, pp.289–333.
Searle, J.R., 1984. Minds, Brains and Science, Reith Lectures 1984. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.