An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science
This book by Lionel Robbins first appeared in 1932 as an outstanding English-language statement of the Misesian view of economic method, namely that economics is a social science and must advance its propositions by means of deductive reasoning and not through the methods used in the natural sciences. The case is argued here with patience and attention to scholarly details. The unfortunate second edition of this book, which is more available today, introduces confusions by departing from Austrian microeconomic theory. Thus does the Mises Institute celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first edition with this reprint.
"Reading Robbins," writes Samuel Bostaph of the University of Dallas, "is an excellent way of contrasting his explanation of the basic nature of economics with that of the Austrian School, as found in the work of Mises as an extension of Carl Mengers's foundations. Such a reading wonderfully clarifies one’s understanding of the basic conception of economics as a science of human action, rather than one of mere 'economizing.' "