Did F.A. Hayek Embrace Popperian Falsificationism ? A Critical Comment About Certain Theses of Popper, Duhem and Austrian Methodology


  • Ludwig van den Hauwe Université Paris-Dauphine




The author of this article argues that Hayek´s methodological outlook at the time he engaged in business cycle research was actually closer to praxeological apriorism than to Popperian falsificationism. A consideration of the Duhem thesis highlights the fact that even from a mainstream methodological perspective falsificationism is more problematic than is often realized. Even if the praxeological and mainstream lines of argumentation reject the Popperian emphasis on falsification for different reasons and from a different background, the prospects for falsificationism in economic methodology seem rather bleak.

Key words: General methodology; Austrian methodology; falsificationism; Popper; Hayek; Duhem; Duhemian Argument; testing of Theories; meaning and Interpretation of econometric results; correlation and causality.

JEL Classification: B20, C10, B23, A12, E32, B53, B40

Resumen: La perspectiva metodológica de Hayek a la hora de investigar el ciclo comercial se acercaba más al apriorismo praxeológico que al falsacionismo popperiano. Una consideración de la tesis de Duhem destaca el hecho de que, incluso desde una perspectiva metodológica común, el falsacionismo es más problemático de lo que se suele pensar. A pesar de que las líneas de argumentación praxeológicas rechazan el énfasis popperiano en la falsación por distintos motivos y desde un fondo distinto, las perspectivas del falsacionismo en la metodología económica no parecen ser nada prometedoras.

Palabras clave: metodología general; metodología austriaca; falsacionismo; Popper; Hayek; Duhem; argumento duhemiano; prueba de teorías; significado e interpretación de resultados econométricos; correlación y causalidad.


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How to Cite

Hauwe, L. van den . (2007). Did F.A. Hayek Embrace Popperian Falsificationism ? A Critical Comment About Certain Theses of Popper, Duhem and Austrian Methodology. REVISTA PROCESOS DE MERCADO, 4(1), 57–78. https://doi.org/10.52195/pm.v4i1.331