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Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution (1957)

Ludwig von Mises


A historians achievement consists in presenting the past in a new perspective of understanding.Theory and Historyp. 290History
A technological invention is not something material. It is the product of a mental process, of reasoning and conceiving new ideas. The tools and machines may be called material, but the operation of the mind which created them is certainly spiritual.Theory and Historyp. 109Entrepreneurs
All judgments of value are personal and subjective. There are no judgments of value other than those asserting I prefer, I like better, I wish.Theory and Historyp. 22Judgment
Although some intolerance, bigotry, and lust for persecution is still left in religious matters, it is unlikely that religious passion will kindle wars in the near future. The aggressive spirit of our age stems from another source, from endeavors to make the state totalitarian and to deprive the individual of autonomy.Theory and Historyp. 64Religion
At least one of the characteristic marks of a true theory is that action based on it succeeds in attaining the expected result. In this sense, truth works while untruth does not work.Theory and Historyp. 123Truth
Behaviorism fails to explain why different people adjust themselves to the same conditions in different ways.Theory and Historyp. 245Behaviorism
Behaviorism proposes to study human behavior according to the methods developed by animal and infant psychology. It seeks to investigate reflexes and instincts, automatisms and unconscious reactions. But it has told us nothing about the reflexes that have built cathedrals, railroads, and fortresses, the instincts that have produced philosophies, poems, and legal systems, the automatisms that have resulted in the growth and decline of empires, the unconscious reactions that are splitting atoms.Theory and Historypp. 245-46Behaviorism
Choosing ultimate ends is a personal, subjective, individual affair. Choosing means is a matter of reason, choosing ultimate ends a matter of the soul and the will.Theory and Historyp. 15Choice
Collectivism is a doctrine of war, intolerance, and persecution. If any of the collectivist creeds should succeed in its endeavors, all people but the great dictator would be deprived of their essential human quality. They would become mere soulless pawns in the hands of a monster.Theory and Historyp. 61Collectivism
Conduct suited to preserve social cooperation is just, conduct detrimental to the preservation of society is unjust.Theory and Historyp. 54Justice
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