Praxeology - Episode 1 - Introduction

Author: Praxgirl. Link to original: (English).
Tags: a priori, deduction, human action, logic, praxeology, praxgirl Submitted by praxgirl 10.08.2011. Public material.

Translations of this material:

into Swedish: Praxeologi - Episod 1 - Introduktion. 23% translated in draft.
Submitted for translation by Wiiner 20.02.2012
into Russian: Праксиология Эпизод 1 — Введение. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by chudesnov 20.12.2011
into Italian: Prasseologia - Episodio 1 - Introduzione. 28% translated in draft.
Submitted for translation by saras85 30.11.2011
into Polish: Prakseologia - Część 1 - Wstęp. Translation complete.
Submitted for translation by homearmy 31.10.2011 Published 6 years, 8 months ago.
into Dutch: Praxeologie - Aflevering 1 - Introductie. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by chamullero 19.08.2011
into Arabic: براكسيولوجي - الحلقة الأولى - مقدمة. 22% translated in draft.
Submitted for translation by mullaman 14.08.2011
into Portugese: Praxeologia - Episódio 1 - Introdução. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by rafaelalisson 13.08.2011
into Hebrew: פרקסאולוגיה - פרק 1 - מבוא. 92% translated in draft. Almost done, let's finish it!
Submitted for translation by jonatank 10.08.2011
into French: Praxéologie - Épisode 1 - Introduction. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required. Completed: 18%.
Submitted for translation by gfk 10.08.2011
into Spanish: Praxeología - Episodio 1 - Introducción. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by praxgirl 10.08.2011

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Hi, Praxgirl here.

I study the logic of human action, a science called Praxeology.

Praxeology is a framework for understanding the purposeful behavior of human beings. It gives us the universal laws of action.

Historically, Praxeology grew out of Economics, when it was realized that economic logic didn’t just explain prices and other market phenomena, but also the nature of all human decision making.

Now you’re asking yourself, why should I want to study Praxeology?

The same could be asked of all other sciences such as Chemistry or Physics. But the answer is pretty clear: because of their usefulness in explaining the world we live in!

Physics can tell me why touching a live wire is dangerous. But if I need to handle that wire, it also tells me that I can safely do so, using an insulating material such as rubber.

Likewise, Praxeology gives us the tools to think about human action beyond just what is seen.

Quick example: do you know anyone who enjoys Do-it-yourself projects? Imagine if

Ted came to me and said “I want to save money, so I just shingled my own roof for $1000 in materials. It would have cost me $5000 if I had paid the professionals!”

But what if Ted, having spent his time and effort at his job, could have earned $8000 instead of fixing his house? That means he would have had the new roof, and $3000 left in his pocket!

Now it may be that Ted liked working on his roof so much more than his usual job, that it was worth giving up the $3000. But if his goal was to save money, we can see that he was in error.

Knowing Praxeology can also help you understand the limitations of human planning.

This is a standard #2 pencil. Contrasted with the tools of the past—for example a spear, which has roughly the same shape - they are vastly different in one key aspect: while spears have historically been created by one person, a pencil is the product of the harmonious actions of a vast number of people.

No one person knows how to make a pencil. Neither the owner of the pencil company, nor the worker in the pencil factory, entirely know how to make this everyday tool! Not the miner of the graphite nor the lumberjack who supplies the wood used, need to consider what the long term destinations are of their individual products are.

What I hold in my hand is a miracle of social cooperation on a massive scale, with no central planner. The end result is an efficiently produced pencil at a cost that's affordable for almost everyone.

And as complex as the pencil is, you realize that it’s relatively simple when compared to something even more complex—like what I’m using to communicate with you now: the internet! How about the entire global economy? How is it that so many resources move around the world in harmony?

People of the past had only a limited understanding of this intricate network of cooperation. Either God or Governments must have planned such order. But this is not the case!

Praxeology is the science that enlightens us to the nature of human action and interaction in a logical structure that we can understand. Praxeology even explains the nature and origin of civilization itself!

I’m really excited about each lesson we’ll be exploring.

Starting with the foundational concepts, we can properly explain the logic of human action.

Later we'll see how the laws of Praxeology give us a more complete understanding of society, and expose the severe limits of all attempts to steer it by force.

Just remember that’s it not difficult to understand; all you need is to be interested... But I ask you, what could be more interesting than understanding human action?!

I’ll see you in the next lesson.