Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Communicative action and the radical constitution: the Habermasian challenge to Hayek, Mises and their descendents

David L. Prychitko and Virgil Henry Storr*
* Northern Michigan University and George Mason University, respectively

Address for correspondence: Dr Virgil Henry Storr, 1714 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20005; email:

This paper evaluates Jurgen Habermas's typology of action and his recent call for a radically democratic rule of law. The theory of action that Habermas develops, however, differs significantly from the science of action (praxeology) of the Austrian school. As such, it represents a methodological challenge to Austrian praxeology. Additionally, Habermas's criticism of the welfare state is shown to be somewhat consistent with Hayek's criticisms, but his alternative to the welfare state challenges the political vision of many Austrian economists. This paper attempts to demonstrate that both Habermas's and the Austrian school's efforts suffer from similar weaknesses and epistemological pretences.

Key Words: Austrian economics • Habermas • Praxeology • Rule of law • Welfare state

from here

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