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A Note on the Influence of Mach's Psychology in the Sensory Order

Hayek in Mind: Hayek's Philosophical Psychology

ISBN: 978-1-78052-398-9, eISBN: 978-1-78052-399-6

ISSN: 1529-2134

Publication date: 6 December 2011


Purpose – The aim of this note is to explain what Hayek meant when in The Sensory Order he claimed that Mach was one of his fundamental readings in psychology while he was writing The Sensory Order.

Methodology/approach – A historical approach to show the different role Mach played in Hayek and Neurath/Carnap.

Findings•A parallelism between Mach–Kant and Hayek–Mach in psychology.•Hayek's rejection of Mach's final philosophical approach as well as his aversion against the Vienna Circle's positivism as forms of metaphysics, based on an awkward definition of isomorphism.

Research limitations/implications•The human sciences cannot be reduced to the natural sciences.•Any form of knowledge is knowledge of “how” rather than of “what”.

Originality/value of the paper•To show Mach's role in Hayek's psychology.•To consider The Sensory Order as a relevant part of Hayek's struggle against reductionism in psychology.



Becchio, G. (2011), "A Note on the Influence of Mach's Psychology in the Sensory Order", Marsh, L. (Ed.) Hayek in Mind: Hayek's Philosophical Psychology (Advances in Austrian Economics, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 171-180.



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