The Consequences of Positivism and the Crises of Western Civilization-Mises

From Chapter 8: Positivism and the Crisis of Western Civilization; Part 5: The Consequences, Ludwig von Mises.

5. The Consequences
The outstanding fact about the contemporary ideological
situation is that the most popular political doctrines aim at totalitarianism, the thorough abolition of the individual’s freedom
to choose and to act. No less remarkable is the fact that the most
bigoted advocates of such a system of conformity call themselves
scientists, logicians, and philosophers.
This is, of course, not a new phenomenon. Plato, who even
more than Aristotle was for centuries the maestro di color che
sanno master of those who know” (Dante)], elaborated a plan of totalitarianism the radicalism of which was surpassed only in the nineteenth century by the schemes of Comte and Marx. It is a fact that many philosophers are utterly

intolerant of any dissent and want to have any criticism of their
own ideas prevented by the government’s police apparatus.
As far as the empiricist principle of logical positivism refers
to the experimental methods of the natural sciences, it merely
asserts what is not questioned by anybody. As far as it rejects the
epistemological principles of the sciences of human action, it is
not only entirely wrong. It is also knowingly and intentionally
undermining the intellectual foundations of Western civilization.

The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science, pp. 132-133 PDF; p. 120 book, Ludwig von Mises



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