—“What is unscientific is the claim that a subjective being can be represented by a method that does not recognize subjectivity. No data can contain the information that it ‘supposedly’ contains. This is misrepresentation. And no person can interpret the data associated with another person since they are not that person at that time and place. This is not science it is hearsay. …. What the hermeneutic does not realize or care to reveal is that there is no alternative to the methodology of subjectivism in the human sciences if science is the pursuit. Science is not the captive of methodology but rather methodology (and it has to be the correct one) is the lens of science.”—Bruce Koerber
You know, you seem like a moral man, a deeply sentimental moral man, and I really don’t like fighting with moral men. But I have a job to do. And I think it’s an important job. And frankly you aren’t a problem because you are visibly a moral man. Like a wondering christian missionary you are trying to do good albeit doing good with mythology. And really, mythology is enough for simple people. Mythology conveys meaning by analogy. Meaning is all that is available to them since truth is too complicated for them to access and convert into new meaning. Truth devoid of meaning is expensive. Mentally expensive. And time intensive.
So I am sorry that I stepped on you in the FB forum. In my world I am just doing my job. And I think it is an important one: to rescue moral economics from the lunatic fringe, by restating it scientifically – meaning truthfully. But it’s my moral duty, as a moral man, to do this job. That is how I see it.
So lets look at your argument here and I’ll expose it for what it is:
–“What is unscientific is the claim that a subjective being can be represented by a method that does not recognize subjectivity.”—
—“No data can contain the information that it ‘supposedly’ contains.”—
No one supposes data contains anything. That is a false argument. Facts exist within theories. They correspond to theories or they do not correspond to theories. We ether seek to falsify theories (criticism) or we seek to ‘support’ theories (confirmation bias). If we seek to falsify a theory and the result does not falsify it, but continues to confirm it, then the theory survives. Some theories defeat other theories by this means. And we largely defeat theories by narrowing their scope (parsimony). Because few theories outside of the mystical are non-correspondent (that is why we come up with them), but they fail under criticism (they are insufficiently correspondent). So the argument you are making assumes positivism not observation and criticism. Science progresses not through positivism, but through observation (empiricism) and criticism, in which we attempt to launder imaginary relations (content) from our theories, so that what remains is truth candidate.
—“This is misrepresentation. And no person can interpret the data associated with another person since they are not that person at that time and place. This is not science it is hearsay. “—
If this is true then no study of deductive human action is possible – you have falsified your how hypothesis. Instead, your statement is only true at the experiential level not at the demonstrated level. We cannot predict an individuals action at any given moment, but we can do two things (a) explain it afterward given the conditions – or at least falsify some large number of the possibilities (b) collect records of preferences demonstrated under similar conditions. So like any empirical observation we cannot predict the state of any very small thing (a molecule of hydrogen in a cloud), however, we can construct general rules of aggregate movements (we can describe cloud formation, and we can describe general rules of human aggregate behavior in an economy: economic laws).
—“What the hermeneutic does not realize or care to reveal is that there is no alternative to the methodology of subjectivism in the human sciences if science is the pursuit. Science is not the captive of methodology but rather methodology (and it has to be the correct one) is the lens of science.”—
This is demonstrably false. While we may not claim something is true unless we can explain it as a series of possible (rational, arational and irrational) human actions, (and in Propertarianism, further constrained by fully informed voluntary exchange), meaning that we have subjected it to operational and intuitionistic (subjective) testing, we certainly CAN use empirical observations in an attempt to understand the phenomenon that we cannot deduce.
This does not mean that you cannot attempt to perform deductive analysis and research. It means that you cannot claim empirical analysis is unscientific, nor that economic analysis must be constrained to the deductive.
This is why economics is no different from any other discipline. Truthful testimony must follow the same constraints no matter what discipline we discover. However, certain disciplines study different properties, and as such some disciplines such as chemistry rarely place contingency upon involuntary transfer (morality) and some such as economics and law always place contingency upon involuntary transfer. As such, in chemistry moral proof is an infrequent necessity, while as in economics it is a permanent necessity.
As I have stated, (a) science is a moral discipline enumerating warranties that must be given for truthful testimony, (b) economics is bound by those same morals, and (c) operationalism and intuitionism are necessary constraints in all fields, and (d) morality is a necessary constraint in many fields – just less visible).
Likewise internal consistency is necessary in mathematics, but external correspondence isn’t. Whereas in physics internal consistency and external correspondence and operational definitions are necessary, but morality is rarely a consideration. Whereas in economics, internal consistency, external correspondence, operational construction (proof of existence/falsification against imagination) and morality (falsification of involuntary transfer) are always necessary.
This approach justifies Austrian economics, as a scientific and moral discipline. Whereas the misesian/rothbardian/hoppeian claims are both pseudoscientific and false both logically and demonstrably.
So you see, I am trying to save Austrian Economics from the lunatic fringe by restating it as the moral discipline, consistent with all other disciplines, and where all disciplines are equally constrained by moral warranty.
This is a profound innovation, and reconstruction of western thought and you should ponder it.