Behavorism and postivism interpret human action as a response to stimuli; and we may call the offering of a commodity for sale a “stimulus”-Mises

“The problem of the study and analysis of other people’s action is
in no way connected with the problem of the existence of a soul or
of an immortal soul. As far as the objections of empiricism, behaviorism, and positivism are directed against any varietv of the soul-theory,
thev are of no avail for our problem. The question we have to deal
with is whether it is possible to grasp human action intellectually if
one refuses to comprehend it as meaningful and purposeful behavior
aiming at the attainment of definite ends. Behaviorism and positivism
want to apply the methods of the empirical natural sciences to the
reality of human action. They interpret it as a response to stimuli.
But these stimuli themselves are not open to description by the methods of the natural sciences. Every attempt to describe them must refer
to the meaning which acting men attach to them. We may call the
offering of a commodity for sale astimulus.” But what is essential
in such an offer and distinguishes it from other offers cannot be
dcscribed without entering into the mcaning which the acting parties
attribute to the situation. No dialectical artifice can spirit away the
fact that man is driven by the aim to attain certain ends. It is this
purposeful behavior-viz., action-that is the subject matter of our
scicncc. We cannot approach our subject if we disregard the meaning which acting man attaches to the situation, i.c., the given state of
affairs, and to his own behavior with regard to this situation.
It is not appropriate for the physicist to search for final causes because there is no indication that the events which are the subject matter of physics are to be interpreted as the outcome of actions of a
being, aiming at ends in a human way. Nor is it appropriate for the
praxeologist to disregard the operation of the acting being’s volition
and intention because they are undoubtedly given facts. If he were
to disregard it, he would cease to study human action. Very often but not aiways-the events concerned-can be investigated both from
the point of view of praxeology and from that of the natural sciences.
But he who deals with the discharging of a firearm from thc physical
and chemical point of view is not a praxeologist. He neglects the very
problems which the science of purposeful human behavior aims to

Human Action, p. 26, Ludwig von Mises


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