BEGINNER

Axiom of Human Action

Purposeful behavior by humans over economic (scarce) goods. To satisfy our wants and desires, we act. However, not all goals or wants can be satisfied at once. Due to scarcity, humans must choose to attain the goods they prefer while foregoing others.

 

Steven Horwitz - What Austrian Economics IS and What Austrian Economics Is NOT

 

Paul Cwik - The Foundational Difference Between Austrian Economics and the Mainstream

Related Publications

ARCHIVE

The Goal Is Freedom: No Substitute for History

AUGUST 03, 2007 by SHELDON RICHMAN

The great economist Ludwig von Mises showed thateconomics can be deduced from the axiom that human beings act:individuals consciously select ends and apply scarce means to achieve them.By examining the logical implications of that undeniable fact, one can come tounderstand the concepts value, cost, time preference, supply,demand, money, price, profit, interest, andso on. In light of this, it is noteworthy that Mises was also an accomplishedhistorian. And more than that, he was an important historiographer; that is, hewas interested in the why and how of history. This theorist who is so identifiedwith the a priori method in economics also believed that a knowledge ofhistory and its methods was indispensable to understanding the world. More . . .

A NEW article by Sheldon Richman


Related Freeman Articles

THE CALLING

On Human Action

We owe a debt to Ludwig von Mises.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 by STEVEN HORWITZ

Human Action remains one of the great achievements in the social sciences and perhaps the single most important economic treatise of the twentieth century.

WABI-SABI

Cavemen, Money, and Spontaneous Orders

Some things are the product of human action but not human design.

MAY 02, 2012 by SANDY IKEDA

Who invented money? Who invented market prices? Who invented cities? What about language? The answer is: no one.

ARTICLE

Econ 101: An Austrian Economist's Dream

Human Beings Behave Purposefully

JANUARY 01, 2004 by ARTHUR FOULKES

ARTICLE

The Love of Economics

Economics Is Focused on Human Choice

OCTOBER 01, 1999 by SHELDON RICHMAN

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FEE offers live online events for people new to the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society.

CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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