Praxeology Through Price Theory

IS_Econ_PTPT — with Robert P. Murphy

Cost: $69   Length: 8 lectures
Format: Independent Study
Status: Open for enrollment
Program: Man, Economy, and State

About the Course

This is the first in the Man, Economy, and State three-course series, which examines each chapter of the definitive textbook on Austrian Economics, Murray N. Rothbard’s Man, Economy, and State. In this course, Professor Robert Murphy discusses the first four chapters of the text, which include “Fundamentals of Human Action,” “Direct Exchange,” “The Pattern of Indirect Exchange,” and “Prices and Consumption.” This course is perfect for self-taught students looking to add an element of fundamental rigor to their stock of economic knowledge as well as for beginners new to economic science in the Rothbardian tradition.

For more information, check out Professor Murphy’s article Study Rothbard in the Digital Universe of the Mises Academy and this interview on Mises Media.

To learn more about the courses that follow in the series, Praxeology Through Price Theory and Production and the Market Process, click here.

Below are the topics covered in this eight-lecture course.

Chapter 1: Fundamentals of Human Action
(study guide in text and PDF)

1. The Concept of Action (p. 1)
2. First Implications of the Concept (p. 2)
3. Further Implications: The Means (p. 8)
4. Further Implications: Time (p. 13)
5. Further Implications (p. 17)
A. Ends and Values (p. 17)
B. The Law of Marginal Utility (p. 21)
6. Factors of Production: The Law of Returns (p. 33)
7. Factors of Production: Convertibility and Valuation (p. 38)
8. Factors of Production: Labor versus Leisure (p. 42)
9. The Formation of Capital (p. 47)
10. Action as an Exchange (p. 70)
Appendix A: Praxeology and Economics (p. 72)
Appendix B: On Means and Ends (p. 76)

Chapter 2: Direct Exchange
(study guide in text and PDF)

1. Types of Interpersonal Action: Violence (p. 79)
2. Types of Interpersonal Action: Voluntary Exchange and the Contractual Society (p. 84)
3. Exchange and the Division of Labor (p. 95)
4. Terms of Exchange (p. 103)
5. Determination of Price: Equilibrium Price (p. 106)
6. Elasticity of Demand (p. 126)
7. Speculation and Supply and Demand Schedules (p. 130)
8. Stock and the Total Demand to Hold (p. 137)
9. Continuing Markets and Changes in Price (p. 142)
10. Specialization and Production of Stock (p. 153)
11. Types of Exchangeable Goods (p. 162)
12. Property: The Appropriation of Raw Land (p. 169)
13. Enforcement Against Invasion of Property (p. 176)

Chapter 3: The Pattern of Indirect Exchange
(study guide in text and PDF)

1. The Limitations of Direct Exchange (p. 187)
2. The Emergence of Indirect Exchange (p. 189)
3. Some Implications of the Emergence of Money (p. 193)
4. The Monetary Unit (p. 196)
5. Money Income and Money Expenditures (p. 198)
6. Producers’ Expenditures (p. 206)
7. Maximizing Income and Allocating Resources (p. 213)

Chapter 4: Prices and Consumption
(study guide in text and PDF)

1. Money Prices (p. 233)
2. Determination of Money Prices (p. 238)
3. Determination of Supply and Demand Schedules (p. 249)
4. The Gains of Exchange (p. 257)
5. The Marginal Utility of Money (p. 261)
A. The Consumer (p. 261)
B. The Money Regression (p. 268)
C. Utility and Costs (p. 276)
D. Planning and the Range of Choice (p. 279)
6. Interrelations among the Prices of Consumers’ Goods (p. 280)
7. The Prices of Durable Goods and Their Services (p. 288)
8. Welfare Comparisons and the Ultimate Satisfactions of the Consumer (p. 298)
9. Some Fallacies Relating to Utility (p. 302)
Appendix A: The Diminishing Marginal Utility of Money (p. 311)
Appendix B: On Value (p. 316)


All readings for this course are free, available online, and provided to students in a fully-hyperlinked syllabus.

Independent Study

Independent study courses are courses that were presented live in the past. These courses are now offered at a discount to anyone who wants to study independently. All courses include lecture recordings, slides, a complete hyper-linked syllabus, automatically-graded quizzes, and a discussion forum. Professors are not available for academic support for these independent study courses.

Sample Certificate of Participation

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge