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Book part
Publication date: 22 February 2010

William N. Butos

Purpose – Overview of Hayek's cognitive theory and the contributions of chapters.Methodology/approach – Perspective on significance of Hayek's cognitive theory for the…

Abstract

Purpose – Overview of Hayek's cognitive theory and the contributions of chapters.

Methodology/approach – Perspective on significance of Hayek's cognitive theory for the social sciences.

Findings – Hayek's cognitive theory provides insight into his oeuvre; more importantly, it is relevant for social theory in its own right.

Research limitations/implications – Hayek's cognitive theory warrants further attention by economists and social theorists interested in evolutionary social processes.

Originality/value of paper – To counter a widespread view that the contribution to economics and social science of Hayek's cognitive theory is largely confined to methodology. Hayek's cognitive theory also provides a useful framework for furthering the understanding of evolution within the social realm.

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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: 22 February 2010

Abstract

Details

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: 22 February 2010

Daniel J. D'Amico and Peter J. Boettke

Purpose – To comment on how The Sensory Order by F. A. Hayek is understood within the context of Hayek's broader research program.Methodology/approach – Earlier and…

Abstract

Purpose – To comment on how The Sensory Order by F. A. Hayek is understood within the context of Hayek's broader research program.

Methodology/approach – Earlier and current perspectives on The Sensory Order are surveyed, quoted extensively, and commented upon. An alternative framework for understanding The Sensory Order is offered and compared to the existing perspectives. Some textual and archival evidence are combined with insights from the history of thought literature to present how Hayek himself may have viewed the role of The Sensory Order in his broader research project.

Findings – Earlier and current perspectives on The Sensory Order are found wanting. The available alternative hypothesis – that Hayek's economics is foundational to his theory of mind – is presented as a more fruitful approach to motivate modern Austrian economics as a progressive research program.

Research limitations/implications – There is limited archival and source material available on this topic and apparently competing versions circulating. Such a discussion has a relatively small and narrow field of interest among scholars intimately familiar with one another's work.

Originality/value of paper – If correct, this chapter offers a unique and original perspective on how to perceive the insights from Hayek's The Sensory Order. It also reaffirms the role of methodological pluralism in progressing contemporary political economy.

Details

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: 22 February 2010

Roger Koppl

Purpose – To defend my past work against the charge that it has exaggerated the importance of The Sensory Order or mistaken its proper role in Hayek's scholarship.

Abstract

Purpose – To defend my past work against the charge that it has exaggerated the importance of The Sensory Order or mistaken its proper role in Hayek's scholarship.

Methodology/approach – I review the evidence given by D'Amico and Boettke and show that such evidence does not imply exaggeration or distortion regarding the nature and importance of The Sensory Order in Hayek's oeuvre.

Findings – Hayek's The Sensory Order was very important, but you can understand his economics without having read it.

Research limitations/implications – The paper only discusses some criticisms of my work on Hayek and a few related points. It does not provide a detailed or extensive account of either The Sensory Order or the role of that work in Hayek's economics.

Originality/value of paper – The work is “original” because it defends my past work against a criticism that previously did not exist. My defense is valuable to the extent that the criticism of D'Amico and Boettke is considered relevant and interesting.

Details

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: 22 February 2010

Leslie Marsh

This paper conceives of Hayek's overall project as presenting a theory of sociocognition, explication of which has a two-fold purpose: (1) to locate Hayek within the…

Abstract

This paper conceives of Hayek's overall project as presenting a theory of sociocognition, explication of which has a two-fold purpose: (1) to locate Hayek within the non-Cartesian tradition of cognitive science, and (2) to show how Hayek's philosophical psychology infuses his social theory.

Details

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: 22 February 2010

Nikolai G. Wenzel

Purpose – To show that Hayek's cognitive theory sheds light on Hayek's institutional theory.Methodology/Approach – Although F. A. Hayek contributed richly to many fields…

Abstract

Purpose – To show that Hayek's cognitive theory sheds light on Hayek's institutional theory.

Methodology/Approach – Although F. A. Hayek contributed richly to many fields of economics – from capital theory to monetary theory, and from institutions to spontaneous order – one theme is omnipresent in his work: the knowledge problem. This paper examines Hayek's work in psychology, The Sensory Order, and argues that there exist strong parallels between Hayek's cognitive and institutional theories.

Findings – Hayek's institutional (or social) theory makes a lot more sense when understood as a necessary consequence of his cognitive theory. Furthermore, Hayek's cognitive theory allows for rational individuals making choices that are socially embedded.

Research limitations/implications – Three Hayekian themes are explored: (1) institutional implications of limited knowledge; (2) learning and knowledge generation; and (3) mental models. The paper then uses a challenge within Hayek – the tension between microlevel methodological individualism and macrolevel institutional evolution – as a starting point toward resolving the lingering individual-culture methodological puzzle in contemporary economics. These are mere starting points for further research.

Originality/value of paper – Horwitz (2000) writes that “Hayek's thought will have come to fruition when the social sciences abandon rationalist and constructivist explanations of social phenomena in favor of ones that recognize the roles of tacit and contextual knowledge, institutional evolution, and spontaneous order. Such an approach would dramatically improve our understanding of the human mind.” This paper offers a step in that direction.

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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: 11 December 2006

William N. Butos and Roger G. Koppl

Cognition and psychology have become central issues in economics. While this interest represents a radical change in economic theory, it does have a useful history that we…

Abstract

Cognition and psychology have become central issues in economics. While this interest represents a radical change in economic theory, it does have a useful history that we believe is only partially recognized by contemporary economists. Although it is customary to cite Herbert Simon's important work in this regard,1 we suggest Hayek's earlier work The Sensory Order (1952) should enjoy similar billing.

Details

Cognition and Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-465-2

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Book part
Publication date: 22 February 2010

Francesco Di Iorio

Purpose – To show that The Sensory Order is an original effort to support, on a neurophysiologic basis, methodological individualism.Methodology/approach – Considering…

Abstract

Purpose – To show that The Sensory Order is an original effort to support, on a neurophysiologic basis, methodological individualism.

Methodology/approach – Considering that the mind is a complex and self-organized order, Hayek criticizes methodological holism according to which the cause of action has to be sought outside the individual, in macro-laws governing social wholes. He argues that, due to the nature of the mind, the cause of action has to be sought inside the individual.

Findings – The paper stresses that scholars have more or less neglected a very important point in discussions of the Austrian author's psychology. Hayek's psychology supports the idea that the explanation of the action stems from the understanding of its meaning.

Research limitations/implications – The article only discusses some of the epistemological consequences of Hayek's theory of the mind. For instance, it does not analyze in a detailed way the relationship between this theory and the idea of distributed knowledge. It left an in-depth examination of this issue for subsequent research.

Originality/value of paper – Many authors state that Hayek's version of methodological individualism only examines the non-intentional effects of action, neglecting the importance of Verstehen. They argue that the Austrian scholar is not a complete and coherent champion of methodological individualism. The paper shows that this criticism is unfounded.

Details

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

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 22 February 2010

Abstract

Details

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

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 22 February 2010

Abstract

Details

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

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