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2019 | 8 | 4 | 857-884

Article title

Is the ‘Human Action’ in Human Action Human Action? Mises, Hayek, and Aristotle on ‘Capitalism’ and Human Flourishing



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Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action is a seminal work of Austrian economics. It sets forth Mises’s theory of the acting person and lays the groundwork for a liberal economic order. But is the “human action” which Mises describes in Human Action really human action? Mises, as well as his colleague Friedrich von Hayek, posits a liberal society in which telos and metaphysics can be elided from human interactions, but such conceptions of the human person are greatly different from the more robust, and humane, anthropologies of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. In this paper, I compare and contrast the visions of the human person found in Mises, Hayek, Aristotle, and St. Thomas, arguing that the truly human vision of human action found in the latter two thinkers’ works provides a much sounder basis for human material flourishing (“capitalism”).








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  • Reitaku University, Chiba, Japan


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