By Otto Neurath
This e-book makes to be had for the 1st time in English a considerable a part of Otto Neurath's fiscal writings. The essays and small monographs translated right here expand from his scholar years to his final ever accomplished piece. They chart not just Neurath's diversified pursuits within the monetary historical past of antiquity, in conflict economics and schemes for the socialisation of peacetime economies, within the idea of welfare measures and social signs and in problems with the idea of collective selection, but additionally exhibit his philosophical pursuits rising in his contributions to seminal debates of the German Social coverage organization. This quantity indicates that Neurath's very important contributions to the socialist calculation debate are yet one element of a many-sided and unique oeuvre. The translations are preceded through an introductory essay by means of one of many editors which contextualises the choices by means of finding them within the a number of debates of the time that supplied their unique atmosphere.
This publication is of curiosity to economists, philosophers of social technological know-how and of economics in addition to to historians of philosophy of technological know-how and of analytic philosophy.
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Extra info for Economic Writings: Selections 1904-1945
Sombart argued that this concept of productivity was to be jettisoned for it inevitably carried value-connotations that prevented objective agreement: preference for competing notions of welfare resembled preference for “brunettes over blondes” (1910, 567, 572). Weber agreed, noting that the concepts ‘national wealth’ and ‘people’s welfare’ (Volkswohlstand) “contain all the ethics in the world” (1910, 581); empirical science does not deal in what “should be the case”, it only determines the means to given ends and their consequences, but never the ends themselves: “there are no ideals that science can prove” (1910, 585).
The Socialisation Commission meanwhile, which the elected government reconvened in 1920, having driven it to resignation in 1919, issued two reports. 95 Considering the participation in the Socialisation Commission of well-known political economists like Rudolf Hilferding, Emil Lederer, Josef Schumpeter and Robert Wilbrandt – all of whom voted with the majority in the first report – Neurath’s involvement in the socialisation movement was not unusual, nor his work in a governmental agency dedicated to it.
Even so, their calculation arguments are not often enough distinguished. 109 Mises and Weber were concerned with what can be called the rationality problem, Hayek with the information problem. 110 Weber, having distinguished between formal and material or evaluative rationality, determined only the former to be a proper object of economic inquiry, the latter carrying value concepts that, we saw, he economic writings 47 felt science had no business investigating. Formal rationality determined the best means for a given aim and did not consider the aims themselves.