Skip to content

The Prerequisites of Human Action

August 27, 2010

“We call contentment or satisfaction that state of a human being which does not and cannot result in any action. Acting man is eager to substitute a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less satisfactory. His mind imagines conditions which suit him better, and his action aims at bringing about this desired state. The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness. A man perfectly content with the state of his affairs would have no incentive to change things. He would have neither wishes nor desires; he would be perfectly happy. He would not act; he would simply live free from care.

But to make a man act, uneasiness and the image of a more satisfactory state alone are not sufficient. A third condition is required: the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness. In the absence of this condition no action is feasible.”

— Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, Chapter I, 2. The Prerequisites of Human Action, p. 13-14

Advertisements

From → Quotes

One Comment

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Human Action quotes – Chapters I-IV « Study of Economics

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: