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I’m Not the First to Use Clark in a Dissent from Mises on the Temporariness of Logic

Recently I wrote on Mises’ odd mistake of claiming that logic and the mind were not eternal:

Thankfully, the Christian, or more precisely the Augustinian/(Gordon) Clarkian, framework does better. By saving the eternality of reason and the mind, they save the Misesian system. If Misesian economics truly proceeds in deductive fashion from its axioms, then a robust defense of deductive reason will adequately and tremendously support deductive economics even from its most able historical theorist.

Interestingly, another individual used a citation Gordon Clark in dissenting from Mises’ mistake in the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics (2005). Steven Yates writes:

There is a sixth thing Austrian scholars should know about logic, and it is this: given our results so far, there is one and only one correct logic—despite Mises’s own occasional demurrals. Occasionally he suggest the possibility of beings possessing different sets of logical categories—subhuman or superhuman—or that reason is transitory.15 It is now both possible and necessary to lay this ambiguity to rest—returning to the Mises who wrote the above paragraph about the “immutability” of reason. The propositions at the foundations of logic are immutable (although a people’s capacity to grasp them may indeed be transitory!). Can anyone seriously suppose that the principles of identity and contradiction are “true for us” but not “true for God” (for example)? Or that it is possible that for God there can both be and not be houses on Elm Street at the same time and place, or that God could will that seven and five add up to some number other than twelve? (Clark 1985, pp. 117–31)

The book he references is Clark’s textbook on Logic, which can be found here.

Published in C.Jay Engel