Epistemology

“We know: of course, with regard to the market and similar social structures, a great many facts which we cannot measure and on which indeed we have only some very imprecise and general information. And because the effects of these facts in any particular instance cannot be confirmed by quantitative evidence, they are simply disregarded by those sworn to admit only what they regard as scientific evidence: they thereupon happily proceed on the fiction that the factors which they can measure are the only ones that are relevant…On this standard there may thus well exist better ‘scientific’ evidence for a false theory, which will be accepted because it is more ‘scientific’, than for a valid explanation, which is rejected because there is no sufficient quantitative evidence for it…I prefer true but imperfect knowledge, even if it leaves much indetermined and unpredictable, to a pretence of exact knowledge that is likely to be false.”

-F.A. Hayek

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“Judicious rationalists do not pretend that human reason can ever make man omniscient. They are fully aware of the fact that, however knowledge may increase, there will always remain things ultimately given and not liable to any further elucidation. But, they say, as far as man is able to attain cognition, he must rely upon reason. The ultimate given is the irrational. The knowable is, as far it is known already, necessarily rational. There is neither an irrational mode of cognition nor a science of irrationality.”

-Ludwig von Mises

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