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Book part
Publication date: 25 June 2010

Steven Horwitz

Over the past decade or two, the Hayek Studies industry has been in a period of significant growth. A whole variety of books about Hayek, both his life and his thought…

Abstract

Over the past decade or two, the Hayek Studies industry has been in a period of significant growth. A whole variety of books about Hayek, both his life and his thought, have appeared, with each trying to differentiate its product sufficiently to make a mark on both scholarship and sales. Into this fairly crowded marketplace comes a volume edited by two political scientists, neither of whom is known for contributions to the Hayek literature. The volume grew out of a lecture series at Utah State University, and the group of scholars that they assembled is notable as well for not being a cast of the “usual Hayekian suspects,” nor exclusively economists. In fact, there is only one economist contributing to the volume, with a couple of philosophers and one historian, and the rest being political scientists. In addition, all the essays address the concept of “spontaneous order,” which is central to Hayek's intellectual framework. More specifically, each essay approaches that topic in light of its relationship to “liberalism” and “conservatism.” The result is a largely excellent set of papers that offer critical and constructive explorations of the idea of spontaneous order and its place in Hayek's thought and in understanding the social world.

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A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-060-6

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Book part
Publication date: 6 December 2011

Giandomenica Becchio

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…

Abstract

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.

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Hayek in Mind: Hayek's Philosophical Psychology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-399-6

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Book part
Publication date: 20 July 2012

Bruce Caldwell

Review essay on Farrant, A. (Ed.). (2011). Hayek, Mill, and the liberal tradition. Routledge: London. ISBN: 978-0415779340. $130.00.

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Review essay on Farrant, A. (Ed.). (2011). Hayek, Mill, and the liberal tradition. Routledge: London. ISBN: 978-0415779340. $130.00.

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Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-824-3

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2016

Mario J. Rizzo

An underappreciated aspect of F. A. Hayek’s mature views about rationality is the inter-relation of the “pure logic of choice” and rule-following behavior. Sometimes it is…

Abstract

An underappreciated aspect of F. A. Hayek’s mature views about rationality is the inter-relation of the “pure logic of choice” and rule-following behavior. Sometimes it is asserted that Hayek abandoned his earlier understanding of individual rationality and replaced it with a completely rule-oriented conception of decisionmaking. In fact, however, the analysis in Hayek’s Sensory Order gives us the framework in which the relative roles of explicit choice-logic and rule-following can be discerned. Furthermore, this framework also shows that his fundamental conception of individual rationality is pragmatic, contextual, modifiable, and ecological. While standard neoclassical economists were axiomatizing the explicit logic of choice, Hayek was decades ahead of these economists in understanding the nature of decisionmaking outside of completely artificial worlds in which there are no cognitive limits and in which the structure of the environment is simple. This paper attempts to lay the foundation for an integrated understanding of Hayek’s pragmatic rule-following rationality and the “ecological rationality” of Gerd Gigerenzer and other researchers.

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Revisiting Hayek’s Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-988-6

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Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2008

Torsten Niechoj

According to Friedrich A. von Hayek, trade unions are the primary problem of our times. They coerce employers into raising the wages, and they seek privileges in the…

Abstract

According to Friedrich A. von Hayek, trade unions are the primary problem of our times. They coerce employers into raising the wages, and they seek privileges in the political sphere. This harsh judgement is, however, not fully justified by Hayek's own theory of action and order. In addition to some terminological difficulties, he undervalues his insights – developed and applied elsewhere – of competition as a discovery process and of locally available knowledge when it comes to unions. Following this lead, further functions of trade unions apart from their monopoly face appear: trade unions channel information and develop rules for conflict resolution; they are part of a process of preference formulation and opinion formation.

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Explorations in Austrian Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-330-9

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Book part
Publication date: 22 February 2010

Evelyn Gick

Purpose – The goal of this chapter is to contribute toward an understanding of Hayek's book “The Sensory Order.” It focuses on his concept of dispositions which influence…

Abstract

Purpose – The goal of this chapter is to contribute toward an understanding of Hayek's book “The Sensory Order.” It focuses on his concept of dispositions which influence perception as well as action. The dichotomy between the phenomenal and the scientific world which Hayek stresses throughout his works is based on the existence of such dispositions.

Approach – Hayek's cognitive writings such as The Sensory Order, “Rules, Perception and Intelligibility” (1963), “The Theory of Complex Phenomena” (1964), and “The Primacy of the Abstract” (1969) are the main resources to explain his cognitive theory.

Findings – Hayek's concept of dispositions facilitates re-interpretation of the term “dispersed knowledge.” Also, Hayek's Theory of Cultural evolution is seen as an evolution of dispositions, which stands in line with his view on the concurrent development of mind and culture.

Import of findings – The chapter offers a cognitive interpretation of Hayek's theory of government, depicting governmental action and rule-setting as spontaneous as well as deliberate processes.

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The Social Science of Hayek's ‘The Sensory Order’
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-975-6

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2016

Viktor J. Vanberg

The notion of constitutionalism and federalism as principal devices for limiting the power of government is central to F. A. Hayek’s political philosophy. A number of…

Abstract

The notion of constitutionalism and federalism as principal devices for limiting the power of government is central to F. A. Hayek’s political philosophy. A number of political scientists have recently criticized Hayek’s (as well as J. M. Buchanan’s and B. R. Weingast’s) reasoning on this subject for its presumed “neoliberal bias.” This paper reviews this critique and takes it as a challenge to clarify certain ambiguities in Hayek’s – and, more generally, in liberal – accounts of constitutionalism and federalism.

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Revisiting Hayek’s Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-988-6

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Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2008

Roger Koppl

Hayek favored both classical hermeneutics and science. His scientific reasoning shows the logical necessity of methodological dualism. Bruce Caldwell and Viktor Vanberg…

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Hayek favored both classical hermeneutics and science. His scientific reasoning shows the logical necessity of methodological dualism. Bruce Caldwell and Viktor Vanberg oppose hermeneutics and methodological dualism in favor of science. Their arguments depend on inappropriate interpretations of the doctrine of methodological dualism and an impoverished understanding of hermeneutics that fails to distinguish classical hermeneutics from universal hermeneutics. Hayek showed that “scientific” and “humanistic” approaches to social science can and should be compatible and complementary. Opposing (classical) hermeneutics in favor of science may cause a loss of knowledge by tending to deprive “scientific” social science of insights arising from more “humanistic” traditions.

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Explorations in Austrian Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-330-9

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2016

Peter J. Boettke, Vlad Tarko and Paul Aligica

Hayek’s “Use of knowledge in society” is often misunderstood. Hayek’s point is not just that prices aggregate dispersed knowledge, but also that the knowledge embedded in…

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Hayek’s “Use of knowledge in society” is often misunderstood. Hayek’s point is not just that prices aggregate dispersed knowledge, but also that the knowledge embedded in prices would not exist absent the market process. Later, in The Constitution of Liberty, he argues that this same idea can also be applied to the study of political and collective choice phenomena. Democracy is not just about aggregating preferences. Absent the democratic process, the knowledge necessary to solve collective problems is not generated. We compare this perspective on democracy to Bryan Caplan’s and Helen Landemore’s theories, and we argue that Hayek’s account focused on “opinion falsification” is richer. Unlike Caplan or Landemore, who adopt a static perspective, Hayek is more interested in the long-term tendencies and feed-back mechanisms. For example, why do Western democracies seem to have gradually moved away from the most deleterious types of economic policies (such as price controls)? Hayek’s conjecture is that the democratic process itself is responsible for this. We connect Hayek’s conjecture about democracy to the broader argument made by Vincent Ostrom, who has claimed that public choice should study not just incentive structures, but also collective learning processes. We believe that this line of research, that is, comparative institutional analysis based on the collective learning capacities embedded in alternative institutional arrangements, merits a lot more attention than it has received so far. The question “Which collective choice arrangements have the best epistemic properties?” is one of the most important neglected questions in political economy.

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Revisiting Hayek’s Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-988-6

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2016

Lawrence H. White

F. A. Hayek’s macroeconomic theory and policy ideas have gained renewed attention since the cheap-money boom until 2007, and subsequent bust, followed the basic Hayekian…

Abstract

F. A. Hayek’s macroeconomic theory and policy ideas have gained renewed attention since the cheap-money boom until 2007, and subsequent bust, followed the basic Hayekian narrative. Only to a very limited extent, however, do we find Hayek’s ideas on the agenda of mainstream macroeconomic researchers since Robert Lucas’s research program gave way to “Neoclassical” and “New Keynesian” DSGE models. We find examples of deeper interest on the periphery of the mainstream. Hayek’s influence on today’s macroeconomic policy discussions remains similarly limited, although he has become an icon to some opponents of loose monetary policy.

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Revisiting Hayek’s Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-988-6

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