Voice for Liberty presents Richard M. Ebeling, Ph.D. for an informative breakfast event. Ebeling is BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. His topic will be “An Introduction to Austrian Economics.”
This meeting is Thursday September 10, 2015, from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. It will be at the Petroleum Club, 9th floor of the Ruffin Building at 100 N. Broadway in Wichita.
The cost is $15, which includes a delicious breakfast. RSVP is not required, but if you plan to attend, would you please let me know by email at email@example.com? This will help with planning. But please attend even if you can’t RSVP.
About the speaker
Dr. Richard M. Ebeling is the recently appointed BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at The Citadel. He will be conducting courses such as “Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Capitalist Ethics” as well as “The Morality and Economics of Capitalist Society.” Dr. Ebeling is recognized as one of the leading members of the Austrian School of Economics and the author of Political Economy, Public Policy, and Monetary Economics: Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian Tradition (Routledge 2010). He is currently editing a forthcoming volume in the Collected Works of F.A. Hayek (Univ. of Chicago Press), the noted Austrian economist and Nobel Laureate. Prior to his appointment at The Citadel, Dr. Ebeling was professor of Economics at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan (2009-2014). He served as president of the Foundation for Economic Education (2003-2008), was the Ludwig von Mises Professor of Economics at Hillside College in Hillsdale, Michigan (1988-2003), and Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Dallas in Texas (1984-1988). He lives with his wife Anna and their dog “Fritzie” in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.
From Austrian Economics and the Political Economy of Freedom by Richard Ebeling:
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The Austrian view of man refutes the positivist, historicist, and neoclassical conceptions of man as a mere physical, quantitative object, or as a passive subject controlled by the dark forces of history, or as a “dependent variable” in a system of mathematical equations. Positivism tried to reduce man and his mind to mere magnitudes to be studied and manipulated like the inanimate matter experimented on in the natural sciences. Historicism claimed that man is determined and molded by external laws of history that shape his thoughts, actions, and destiny, with little latitude for the individual to design and guide his own future. Neoclassical economics treats man like a mathematical function possessing given tastes and preferences, which are themselves induced by his surroundings and on the basis of which he responds in predictable ways when confronted with various constraining and objective tradeoffs in the form of market prices.
For Austrians, on the other hand, man is a purposeful being. He thinks, plans, and acts. Man may be made up of matter, but he possesses consciousness. He has the capacity to imagine, create, and initiate. His mind is not simply reducible to lifeless matter. He has spirit and will. Man reflects on the circumstances in which he finds himself. He judges aspects of his physical and social surroundings less than satisfactory. He imagines states of affairs that would be more to his liking. He creates in his mind plans of action that would bring those preferred states of affairs into existence. He discovers that the things he can use as means to achieve some of his ends are insufficient to achieve all of his ends. He has to weigh the alternatives and decide which he prefers more, since some of them, in the face of scarcity, will have be forgone today or forever. He therefore has to decide the tradeoffs he is willing to make, and as a result he determines the costs of his own choices in the form of goals he is willing to give up in order to pursue others that he considers more important.