Claudia Jefferies and Andy Denis: “Was the School of Salamanca proto-Austrian?”

An interesting-looking critique of Murray Rothbard’s reading of late Medieval economic thought:

In this paper we challenge Murray Rothbard’s interpretation of the School of Salamanca as proto-Austrian. We argue that Scholasticism is in goals and methods profoundly different from any modern school of economics, and that it is mistaken to use the Austrian school as a standard against which the Salamancans are to be appraised. Further, Rothbard’s interpretation is vitiated by a misconception of the specificity of the Austrian School: while the Salamancans bequeath a lasting heritage for 21st century economists, it is a broad contribution, one for many schools, and not at all one specific to the Austrian standpoint. Finally, the natural law tradition, which has been correctly identified as a continuity between early modern, classical and Austrian thought, far from an anticipation of scientific thinking in the Salamancans, constitutes a residue of religious thinking in the Austrians.

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