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The Emergence of the Mind: Hayek's Account of Mental Phenomena as a Product of Spontaneous Physical and

Hayek in Mind: Hayek's Philosophical Psychology

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

Publication date: 6 December 2011


Purpose – (1) To show that Hayek's theory of spontaneous orders informs his theory of the mind in The Sensory Order (TSO), (2) to show that Hayek's apriorism – which makes its first appearance in the Beiträge of 1920 with the view that memory precedes neuronal interconnections – continues unchanged in TSO, (3) to show that the social phenomenon of intersubjectivity is presupposed in Hayek's account of how the mind develops, and (4) to present the scientific discovery of mirror neurons as evidence that intersubjectivity has a role in this development.

Design/methodology/approach – This is an analytical examination of Hayek's theory of the mind in TSO against the backdrop of his social theory.

Findings – (1) That the role of memory in Hayek's theory of mind can be characterized as aprioristic; (2) that Hayek is a metaphysical realist; (3) that Hayek presupposes intersubjectivity in the framework of social orders and the mind; (4) that Hayek may have been influenced by the it tradition; and (5) also that Hayek's TSO is not an argument belonging to biologism or Kantian epistemology.

Originality/value – This chapter rejects the commonly accepted view that The Sensory Order or its predecessor, the Beiträge, underlies all of Hayek's social theory. Instead, it presents the argument that spontaneous orders and intersubjectivity are not only presupposed but most likely imported to TSO from his social theory. Secondarily, this chapter rejects the view that Hayek's cognitive and social theories are characterized by the acceptance of biologism or Kantianism.



Zúñiga y Postigo, G. (2011), "The Emergence of the Mind: Hayek's Account of Mental Phenomena as a Product of Spontaneous Physical and", Marsh, L. (Ed.) Hayek in Mind: Hayek's Philosophical Psychology (Advances in Austrian Economics, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 183-198.



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