The reading is an excerpt from the first four chapters of the book “ Memoirs.” As a major contributor to the field of history, economics, social philosophy, and philosophy of science, Von Mises recalls the development of his own life from his youth to his work in history and economics. The discussion covers the summation of the first four chapters of the reading. After which, the reading was analyzed for interesting points and connections to other texts. Commenting on the reading encompasses a reflection on the relevant arguments that defines the context of the selected chapters. Memoirs is an essential reading not only for Austrian students, but also for individuals interested in the concepts of economics and history of ideas.
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The first chapter of the primary reading is about historicism. Here, the author presents the source of his historical and political indoctrination where he describes his journey from high school and earlier career plan. One of the key points of the chapter is his awareness of the contradicting position about the positivist demand for laws of science drawn from historical experiences. While on the other hand theorists suggest that economic theory could be drawn from economic experiences. The author describes the role of relativism in his understanding of the struggle between the scientific and theoretical conceptualization. Furthermore, the author’s high school years were when he found epiphany on the distinction between the inexpedient and expedient politics. The second chapter of the reading focuses on the context of etatism drawn from the author’s experiences during his time in the university. In this chapter, the Marxian theory was discussed explicitly. Furthermore, during the author’s course of his university life, her has found to realize that not all of the Western and Central Europe intellects would find that the Marxian theory fascinating.
At first I thought that the book is going to be a biographical accounts of the author’s life events. On the contrary, the reading was able to deliver both an intellectual recollection of the important aspects of both political and economic theories. It is apparent from the first three chapters that Von Mises had explored the contextual and theoretical underpinnings of economics, politics and society even when still in high school. I came to realize several things, which at the same time constitutes the most interest about the reading. First, is the fact that economics do not only concerns profitability and stability, but about the State’s political and social condition. I was able to come to terms with my understanding of political action towards economic decisions. The second interesting factor about the reading is the fact that the social, economic, and political concepts were explicitly presented in under the lenses of the author’s own life experiences.
The reading provides significant views about economics and its relation to politics and social philosophy. Although the reading was limited to the first four chapters of the book, it was able to present the aforementioned concepts that also incorporate a retelling of one’s national history and personal biography on a simultaneous fashion.