“The Vienna Circle took a hard line on epistemology, and on the demarcation between mathematics and science on the one hand and non-science (or metaphysics) on the other. The propositions of logic and mathematics are necessarily true, true by definition of the terms and hence tautologous ... . They are analytic a priori in Kant’s terminology. All other propositions may be true or false, and if such propositions are to be scientific they must be capable of confirmation or refutation by empirical facts. Such propositions are synthetic a posteriori statements. The implication is that there can be no synthetic a priori statements in a science, because such statements are neither analytic nor verifiable. Haberler, Hutchison, Kaufmann and all spotted that Mises’s conception of economics ran into the problem that insofar as it was purely analytical and hence a priori true, it could not also be an empirical science.” (Howson 2011: 272).Of course, one does not have to agree with the logical positivists on their verifiability principle to see that there is still merit in this view.
The logical positivists did much to demonstrate that synthetic a priori knowledge is untenable, and to refute the myths of apriorist Rationalism, of which Mises’s praxeology is an obvious example.
Howson, Susan. 2011. Lionel Robbins. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York.