Can we have an axiomatic theory of psychology?
A bit of background: since at least the time of Spinoza, up until the present day, a limited number of people have made attempts at creating an axiomatic approach to understanding and studying the human psyche.
They have all failed to gain any traction or respect. The most likely reason, in my assessment, is quite simply having way too many axioms.
An axiom is supposed to be a clear, “self-evident” truth, from which one can then logically derive other truths. The most famous use of axioms is by Euclid, where he used 5 very simply stated axioms (like “The whole is greater than the part”) to derive a few hundred pages of geometry. Modern mathematical economics also uses a handful of axioms, while the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises only required one axiom (“Human action is purposeful behavior”) to understand the world.
However, modern attempts at axiomatizing psychology include dozens of axioms. For example, the “pyscho-logic” approach has over 50 axioms. What’s worse, is that many of these axioms have been expressed mathematically.
To me, this is unnecessarily complicated analysis. So below, I have attempted to give a start to a new kind of axiomatic psychology, using only one axiom:
Axiom: Thinking is the ability of a brain to observe, analyze, and decide.
Continue reading “Axiomatic Psychology”
It always struck me as strange that such a great and important thinker as Ludwig von Mises, whose last posthumous work was published in 2012, did not have a dedicated and comprehensive anthology. Since I personally have a significant interest in “what Mises said” on this or that topic, it also frustrated me that there was no simple online resource available where I could do this—despite so much of Mises’s works being available online.
Thus, I’ve used my time during the COVID-19 lockdown to create this compendium: over 8600 pages, 36 separate volumes, 200 megabytes.
Find it under the Free eBooks section of this website, or simply click here. This version was last updated May 12th, 2020.
The list of titles of the collected works include:
Pages of the PDF
A Critique of Interventionism
Economic Freedom and Intervention
Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow
Human Action (Scholar’s Edition)
Interventionism: An Economic Analysis
Liberty and Property
Money, Method, and the Market Process
Nation, State, and Economy
Notes and Recollections, with the Historical Setting of the Austrian School
Planning for Freedom (and other essays)
Profit and Loss
Selected Works Vol I
Selected Works Vol II
Selected Works Vol III
Socialism: An Economic Analysis
The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality
The Clash of Group Interest and Other Essays
The Free Market and Its Enemies
The Theory of Money and Credit
The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science
On the Manipulation of Money and Credit
The “Austrian” Theory of the Trade Cycle
Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth
Money and Inflation
Epistemological Problems of Economics
Entries for the Encyclopedia Britannica
Theory and History
Human Action (Liberty Fund Edition, volumes 1-3)
A Critique of Bohm-Bawerk’s Reasoning
Glossary (“Mises Made Easier”)