Synthetic Status of the Action-Axiom

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    Hello everyone,

    I know that the action-axiom can be grounded in other epistemological theories, but a main one used is Kant’s Synthetic A Priori. Now, I understand why it is a priori and why it could be considered synthetic; it is a priori because it is reflected upon, and synthetic because its truth-value is validated by denying it. However, when Mises speaks of the action-axiom, he is referring to homo agens, or those humans that do act (at least from my knowledge). If this is the case, then this seems like the action-axiom is an analytic truism because all it would say is that acting human acts; any proposition that is basically stating the same thing over again and not providing new knowledge is considered analytic.

    Is there something that I’m missing here, or am I equivocating what a homo agen is?

    Thank you,



    Kantians make two distinctions concerning propositions. They are either analytic or synthetic and they are either apriori or aposteriori. The truth of analytic propositions can be established by formal logic alone. Establishing the truth of synthetic propositions requires more than formal logic alone. Observations are necessary to establish the truth of aposteriori propositions and they are not necessary to establish the truth of apriori propositions.

    Synthetic apriori propositions, then, refer to propositions whose truth can be established but formal logic is insufficient to do so and observations are unnecessary. What must be added to formal logic is knowledge gained, not by observation, but by reflection.

    Take a look at the piece by Hans Hoppe:

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