WP: What Is So Extreme About Mises’ Extreme Apriorism: Reply to Scott Scheall

In Zanotti and Cachanosky (2016) [SSRN version] we argue that the widespread interpretation that for Mises (and by implication most Austrians) economic science can be carried out without empirical assumptions that are not deduced from what Mises calls praxeology is simply wrong. This interpretation, we argue, has a strong root in Rothbard’s (1957) «In Defense of Extrem Apriorism.» We maintain that Mises himself did not maintain this position.

Scott Scheall argues not only that our setting is irrelevant, but that can also be misleading. He even feels comfortable implying that we are not being objective in our analysis because we are more concerned about defending Mises than actually analyzing the epistemological issue.

In this paper we reply to Scheall’s arguments. Even if the problem that Scheall is dealing with is interesting, it remains a different problem to the one we tackle.


We reply to Scott Scheall’s What is so Extreme About Mises’s Extreme Apriorism. We restate the setting of the topic of our paper and we argue that Scheall is not providing a clear distinction between (a) Mises the person and his epistemological position and (b) praxeology and economics. We also clarify misrepresentations of our own positions in Scheall’s treatment of our paper.

Download paper from SSRN.