Reply To: Formal Deductions from the Axiom of Action


Thank you for the response, Dr. Herbener. Forgive me for harping on a formal presentation of deduction from the axiom, I have just grown accustomed to presentations in philosophy of religion where clear premises are stated. Seeing that I constantly see the terms “premises” and “deduction” in various texts, I find myself looking for explicitly stated arguments, but such arguments are not given. From what I can tell from your preliminary lectures, Economic Reasoning, and Economic Science and the Austrian Method this does not seem to be an appropriate method.

I will attempt to clarify how I am reasoning. In thinking about Rothbard’s presentation of economic analysis, I am imaging a sort of modus ponens form as a chain of argumentation in such a way that the first principles would begin from rearranging 1) and 2) to arrive at:

1) If A, then B
2) A
3) Therefore, B
4) If B, then C
5) B
6) Therefore, C (and so on)

But it appears, as far as I can tell, from Gordon’s readings and other sources that A takes on the form of a cumulative premise, including the implications from the axiom. After this cumulative premise has been established, it is then that the derivation can take place. However, if this is the case, I am still unsure how that would be stated formally.

Hopefully, the above shows how I am reasoning clear enough to allow you to see if I have made any obvious errors in thinking (which I am sure I have!) which would have led me down the wrong path.