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The Foundations of Modern Austrian Economics; Edited by: Dolan, Edwin G.
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Meanwhile in Vienna the marginalist revolution was proceeding on another front. In 1871 Carl Menger published his Grundsätze der Volkswirtschaftslehre and, soon joined by Friederich von Wieser and Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, established the Austrian school. The Austrian school, although failing to achieve dominance in the international profession, retained its own identity and did not become wholly absorbed into neoclassicism. Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, it continued to attract a small but vigorous stream of adherents, among whom the most distinguished were Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek.

Part 2, Essay 3

Finally, the Jevons-Walras mathematical method necessarily deals with "functions of interdependent phenomena," whereas, for Menger and the Austrians, economic laws are genetic and causal, proceeding from the utility and the action of the consumer to the market result. As Kauder put it:

For Marshall, value and cost, supply and demand are interdependent factors whose functional connection can be explained in an equation or a geometrical figure. For Wieser, Menger, and especially for Böhm-Bawerk the wants of the consumer are the beginning and the end of the causal nexus. The purpose and the cause of economic action are identical. There is no difference between causality and teleology, claims Böhm-Bawerk. He knew the Aristotelian origin of his argument. *93

In attempting to explain the Austrian choice among all the marginalists for philosophical realism and social ontology, Kauder pointed to the late nineteenth-century influences on the Austrian intellectual climate of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and other schools of realistic philosophy. Most influential was Aristotle, who was studied carefully down to the middle of the nineteenth century, and who was often taught in the secondary schools in Austria. And while realism gave way to empiricism in the Austrian schools by the turn of the twentieth century, "the Viennese Schottengymnasium, the intellectual nursery of many famous Austrians including Wieser, required, even after 1918, the students to read Aristotle's metaphysics in the original Greek." *95 In contrast, of course, the influence of Aristotelian philosophy in Britain or even France during the nineteenth century was virtually nil.