Indifference In Economics: Comment On Nozick, Hoppe And Wysocki
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Nozick (1977) set a challenge for Austrian economics. On the one hand, this school of thought rejects the notion of indifference, and along with it, indifference curves. On the other hand, the praxeological school accepts the concepts of supply and demand curves. But the latter supposition logically implies indifference, in that the persons for whom the supply and demand curves apply look upon all the constituent items as identical; if not, these diagrams could not be drawn. A similar account applies to diminishing marginal utility, another tool of economic analysis accepted by Austrians. But this, too, implies indifference, at least according to Nozick. Block (1980) responded critically to Nozick (1977). Hoppe (2005, 2009), a leading Austrian economist, agreed with Block that Nozick was in error, but also rejected Block’s specific refutation this eminent philosopher’s critique. Wysocki (2021) sided with Nozick and Hoppe in this debate. The present paper is an attempt to support the Blockian view vis a vis that of these three scholars.