Ideal type

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Ideal type is a rough generalization of a specific but loose concept helpful for the description and interpretation of history. An ideal type is a typification of a conceptual representation of complex reality by a grouping, each member of which has all or many of a number of specified distinctive qualities or characteristics. Because of its inexactness, an ideal type cannot be defined, but must be described by an enumeration of its basic features, all of which need not be present in any individual case. An ideal type may pertain to men, events, ideologies or human institutions. Examples are leader, bandit, king, dictator, town, state, nation, war, revolution, economy. Although the same terms may also be used in a precise legal or praxeological sense, their common or more general use lacks the precision and uniformity of praxeological terms and thus ideal types cannot form the basis for valid scientific laws or principles. They are, however, an indispensable tool for recording and understanding history.[1]


  1. Percy L. Greaves, Jr. "Mises Made Easier ", 1974. Referenced 2014-07-16.