Praxeology - Episode 2 - Methodology
Translations of this material:
- into Russian: Праксиология Эпизод 2 — Методология. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by IrinaChernykh 04.06.2015
- into Polish: Prakseologia - Część 2 - Metodologia. Translation complete.
Submitted for translation by homearmy 09.11.2011
Published 5 years, 4 months ago.
- into Dutch: Praxeologie - Aflevering 2 - Methodologie. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by chamullero 19.08.2011
- into Portugese: Praxeologia - Episódio 2 - Metodologia. 32% translated in draft.
Submitted for translation by rafaelalisson 13.08.2011
- into Spanish: Praxeología - Episodio 2 - Metodología. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by perogruyo 12.08.2011
- into Hebrew: פרקסאולוגיה - פרק 2 - מתודולוגיה. 93% translated in draft. Almost done, let's finish it!
Submitted for translation by jonatank 10.08.2011
- into French: Praxéologie - Épisode 2 - Méthodologie. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by gfk 10.08.2011
Hi guys, Praxgirl here.
In our introduction, I defined Praxeology as “the logic of human action” and, as a science. In this lesson I’d like to define the approach Praxeology takes in studying human action and deriving universal laws.
Unlike the sciences of Chemistry or Physics, when approaching human beings, Praxeology has to employ a method of acquiring knowledge that does not rely on observation but on discursive reasoning. Or we may say: logical deduction.
The laws of human action that Praxeology is able to arrive at are necessarily true and universal, because they're logically implied by simple, undeniable facts. What would make a fact undeniable? A fact is undeniable when any attempt to deny it must prove it to be true. Once we state one of these undeniable facts, we’re able to discover further implied truths that hold at all times and to all individuals regardless of sex, race, creed or color. As long as the implied arguments are valid and their premises based on the initial undeniable truth, the soundness in every step of the logical chain is incontestable.
The starting point of Praxeology is an undeniable truth itself, and a very easy one to remember:
Human action is purposeful behavior.
It’s from this undeniable fact that all of Praxeology as a science is deduced. This fact or “axiom” is undeniable because as we stated before, if you try to deny that humans action is purposeful, you would be acting purposefully yourself! It should be easy to see why logical deduction is the only necessary and fitting method to come to this conclusion.
Before I go on, you might be asking yourself: is it appropriate to study human action through observation or what scientists like to call induction? To answer this we need only to consider the the separation between the objects that sciences like Chemistry or Physics study and the unique characteristic of human beings that we stated before in our axiom. These sciences can plot out the courses of stones, atoms or planets through cause and effect, but humans differ categorally in one key way: human beings act! They have goals and purposes, and they try to achieve those goals.
Stones, atoms, planets, have no goals or preferences; hence, they either move, or are moved; they cannot choose, select paths of action, or change their minds. Men and women can and do.
Sciences like Chemistry and Physics are able to investigate objects and classify them to their minutest details. They can turn our observable world into bits of data to quantify. People on the other hand, cannot be quantified; every day, people learn, adopt new values and goals, and change their minds; people cannot be slotted and predicted as can objects without minds or without the capacity to learn and choose.
The Action Axiom shows that the uniqueness of all individuals is the logically necessary starting point for studying human behavior. There have been so-called “scientists” who have tried to disprove this notion and claimed that the methods of the natural sciences are the only true way to acquire knowledge of man in reality, but we can easily see how silly and futile their attempts are.
Here we are at Grand Central Station. The hustle and bustle here is renowned the world over. It’s rush hour now and I want to drive home my example by testing two fundamentally different ways of approaching human behavior:
A truly “scientific” behaviorist would stand where I am and observe the empirical events: People are rushing back and forth aimlessly.
But a true student of human action starts from the fact that all the people here have aims and goals. They’re trying to get from work to home!
Who do you think would learn more about human behavior and the events we are observing? It’s obvious which one would be the genuine scientist.
To try and box humans into the type of predictable data and statistics that work in sciences like Biology, Astronomy or Geology is not only completely inappropriate but is essentially a denial of the Action Axiom, a contradiction.
Praxeology’s method is one kept in the realm of thinking, precisely because as human beings we already contain the tools necessary to understand the purposefulness of action. What should also become apparent is that as certain as Praxeology is of the uniqueness of all people, it’s explanations are also limited in scope by this fact. Logically, the search for complete predictability in the realm of human action is the search for the impossible, and is therefore PROFOUNDLY UNSCIENTIFIC.
I’ll see you in the next lesson.