Philosophers of Capitalism: Menger, Mises, Rand, and Beyond

By Skoble, Aeon J. | Freeman, December 2006 | Go to article overview

Philosophers of Capitalism: Menger, Mises, Rand, and Beyond


Skoble, Aeon J., Freeman


Philosophers of Capitalism: Menger, Mises, Rand, and Beyond edited by Edward W. Younkins Lexington Books * 2005 * 374 pages * $28.95

Reviewed by Aeon J. Skoble

Edward Younkins is a man with an idea. His idea is that there is an underlying theme linking Austrian economics, neo-Aristotelian moral theory, and Ayn Rand's Objectivism. His ultimate goal is an integrated, comprehensive philosophy that coordinates the insights of Menger, Mises, Rothbard, Aristotle, and Rand. It is an ambitious project and a challenging idea, and Younkins does a good job here of demonstrating these thematic connections. Such connections will not be obvious to some. For instance, Austrian economics holds that values are subjective, while Rand would argue that values are objective, but Younkins shows how those are not incompatible claims-partly because they're not really claims about the same things.

Younkins, a professor in the department of business at Wheeling Jesuit University, notes that both Menger and Rand would agree that "the ultimate standard of value is the life of the valuer." Furthermore, while Menger's primary focus is on economic values and Rand's is on moral values, their "shared biocentric concept of value contends that every value serves biological needs," and thus value in both senses "has its roots in the conditional nature of life." So, according to Younkins s argument, the value-subjectivity of the Austrians is not only not incompatible with a Randian sense of objectivity, but indeed complements it. Younkins has an ambitious (and plausible) schematic that links Aristotelian theories of human flourishing and Objectivist arguments about the nature of reality and "man's distinctive attributes of reason and free will" with Austrian praxeological conceptions of valuation, decision-making, and cooperation.

It's no secret that Rand was influenced by Aristotle, and one way Younkins ties Objectivism to Austrianism is to document the Aristotelian influence on Menger. As Younkins puts it, "Menger's Aristotelian inclinations can be observed in his desire to uncover the essence of economic phenomena. . . . Like Aristotle, Menger thought that the laws governing phenomena of thought processes and the natural and social world were all related as parts of the natural order." This means that our volitional end-seeking is connected to our natures as human beings-a theme that appears in both Rand and later Austrians, notably Mises and Rothbard.

Younkins explains those areas where Mises and Rothbard differ, but shows that those differences do not supersede the fundamental agreement about a praxeological conception of economic choice. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Philosophers of Capitalism: Menger, Mises, Rand, and Beyond
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.