What can an economist and agnostic tell a theologian about man? In contrast to mainstream economics, which today dominate all universities in the world, Ludwig von Mises (+1973) is interested in real man in action, not a fictitious homo oeconomicus. At one time Gregory M. A. Gronbacher (1998), an American philosopher, proposed a synthesis of Christian personalism with the free market economy developed by the Austrian School of Economics. His idea prompted me to use Mises’s praxeology to understand and describe human action in the socio-economic sphere from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching. At that time I understood how important were economic laws for the proper moral evaluation of human action.
Mises in his treaty on economics Human Action developed his own anthropological concept of man. The Austrian economist never used the expression “person” to describe and analyze human action, but analyzing his economic system I was able to discover that he did not understand the free market economy as an abstract being composed of mechanical elements. According to him, the prerequisite for human activity is the desire to replace a less satisfactory state of affairs with a more satisfying one. Mises’s man is guided by his own scale of values and builds it up on the basis of a goal he freely chooses. Mises also takes into account that the market is only a part of reality and human activity.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Curran C.E. (1987). The Common Good and Official Catholic Social Teaching. The Common Good and U.S. Capitalism (O.F. Williams J. Houck). Lanham
Gronbacher M.A. (1998). Economic personalism. A New Paradigm for a Humane Economy. Grand Rapids: Acton Institute
J. Smith (1995). Natural Law and Personalism in Veritatis Splendor. Veritatis splendor. American Responses (M.E. Allsopp J.J. O’Keefe). Kansas City 194–207
John Paul II (1981). Encyclical Letter Laborem exercens. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
John Paul II (1991). Encyclical Letter Centesimus annus. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana 35
Mises L. von. (1966). Human Action. A Treaties on Economics. Chicago 884.
Pius XII (1942). The Internal Order of States and People. Christmas Message of 1942. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12CH42.HTM 2.HTM [2 Jan. 2014].
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (2004). Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana (English edition Washington D.C.: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 2005).
Rothbard M. N. (2004). Man Economy and State with Power and Market. Auburn 630
Soto J. H. de (2000). The Mystery of Capital Why capitalism triumphs in the west and fails everywhere else. New York 48–49.
Styczen T. (1986). The Personal Dignity of the Subject of Labor as a Source of its Sense and Value. John Paul II Laborem exercensText and commentary (J. Chmiel S. Ryłko) [polish edition]. Lublin 109
Vatican Council II (1965). Declaration on Religious Freedom “Dignitatis humanae”. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana 6. Pastoral Constitution 26 74
Vatican Council II (1965). Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World “Gaudium et spes”. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana 71
Wojtyla K. (1979). The Acting Person. Trans. by A. Potocki Dordrecht: R. Reidel Publishing Company