Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Mises and Montaigne: A Comment

Bagus, Philipp and Howden, David and Gabriel, Amadeus and Carrasco Bañuelos, Eva María (2016): Mises and Montaigne: A Comment. Published in: History of Political Economy , Vol. 4, No. 48 (2016): pp. 733-740.

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Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) baptized the idea that the gain of some is caused by the loss of others as the “Montaigne dogma.” Mises considered the fallacy to be very widespread and sufficiently noteworthy that he devoted chapter 24 of his magnum opus Human Action to refuting the idea. Casto Martín Montero Kuscevic and Marco Antonio del Río Rivera (2015) discuss Mises´ refutation of Montainge´s dogma and claim that he misinterpreted Montaigne on fundamental grounds. They make the further claim that Mises misattributed the dogma to Montaigne. In this short response, we assess their argument to demonstrate that a more complete reading of Mises’s arguments vindicate both his identification and criticisms of the Montaigne dogma.

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