Coping with Ignorance

“Coping with Ignorance.” Ludwig von Mises Memorial Lecture. Imprimis (Hillsdale College) 7 (July 1978) 6 pp.


“It is to me not only a great honor but also the discharge of an intellectual duty and a real pleasure to be allowed to deliver a Ludwig von Mises memorial lecture. There is no single man to whom I owe more intellectually, even though he was never my teacher in the institutional sense of the word.

I came originally from the other of the two original branches of the Austrian school. While Mises had been an inspired pupil of Eugen Boehm von Bawerk, who died comparatively early and whom I knew only as a friend of my grandfather before I knew what the word “economics ” meant, I was personally a pupil of his contemporary, friend and brother-in-law, Friedrich von Wieser. I was attracted by him, I admit, because unlike most of the other members of the Austrian school, he had a good deal of sympathy with a mild Fabian socialism to which I was inclined as a young man. He in fact prided himself that his theory of marginal utility had provided the basis of progressive taxation, which then seemed to me one of the ideals of social justice.”

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