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"F. A. Hayek and the Rebirth of Classical Liberalism"; Gray, John N.
8 paragraphs found.
F. A. Hayek and the Rebirth of Classical Liberalism, continued

A number of points may be made briefly about Hayek's conception of method in social and economic theory. First, whereas he follows his great teachers in the Austrian tradition in emphasizing the subjective aspects of social phenomena, Hayek's methodology of social and economic science does not belong to that Austrian tradition in which social theory is conceived as an enterprise yielding apodictic truths. Specifically—contrary to T. W. Hutchinson, who periodizes Hayek's work into an Austrian praxeological and a post-Austrian Popperian period, and also contrary to Norman P. Barry who sees both trends running right through Hayek's writings—Hayek never accepted the Misesian conception of a praxeological science of human action which would take as its point of departure a few axioms about the distinctive features of purposeful behavior over time. In the Introduction to Collectivist Economic Planning [E-5, 1935] and elsewhere in his early writings, Hayek had (as Hutchinson notes) insisted that economics yields " 'general laws,' that is, 'inherent necessities determined by the permanent nature of the constituent elements.' "[55] As Hutchinson himself acknowledges in passing, however, such laws or necessities function in Hayek's writings as postulates (rather than as axioms), and they continue to do so even in his later writings, in which (as I have already noted) a suspicion of the nomothetic paradigm of social science is expressed. It is clear from the context of the quotations cited by Hutchinson that, in speaking of the general laws or inherent necessities of social and economic life, Hayek meant to controvert the excessive voluntarism of historicism, which insinuates that social life contains no unalterable necessities of any sort, rather than to embrace the view that there can be an apriori science of society or human action. To this extent Barry is right in his observation that, "there is a basic continuity in Hayek's writings on methodology."[56] Certainly there seems little substance in a periodization of Hayek's methodological writings by reference to the supposedly Popperian paper of 1937 on "Economics and Knowledge" (A-34).

Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, New York: Basic Books, 1974, pp. 18-22. For a most penetrating discussion of some related aspects of social explanation, see Nozick's "On Austrian Methodology," Synthese 36 (1977): 353-392. See also Edna Ullmann-Margalit's "Invisible Hand Explanations," Synthese 30 (1978): 263-291. I am indebted to Professor Lester Hunt both for directing me to Ms. Ullmann-Margalit's article and for showing me his unpublished paper, "Toward a Natural History of Morality," in which some of Ullmann-Margalit's work is pushed further. See also Norman P. Barry, "The Tradition of Spontaneous Order,"Literature of Liberty 5 (Summer 1982): 7-58, as well as Richard Vernon, "Unintended Consequences," Political Theory 7 (1979): 57-74.
F. A. Hayek and the Rebirth of Classical Liberalism, Bibliography

B-9The Counter-Revolution of Science: Studies on the Abuse of Reason. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press, 1952, 255 pp; new edition New York, 1964; 2nd edition with 1959 Preface to German edition, Indianapolis, Indiana: LibertyPress, 1979, also available in LibertyPress paperback. (Germany 1959, Frankfürt am Main edition published under the title Missbrauch und Verfall der Vernunft or "The Abuse and Decline of Reason"; German reprint of Frankfurt edition, Salzburg: Philosophia Verlag, 1979; France excerpts, 1953; Italy 1967.)

[The two major sections of this volume first appeared as articles in Economica as A-46 (1942-1944) and A-42 (1941), respectively: the third study first appeared as A-70 (1951). Hayek analyzes the intellectual origins of social planning and engineering. Topics covered include: scientism and the methodology of studying society, collectivism, historicism, non-spontaneous or rationalistic social planning, as well as the role of Saint-Simon, Comte, and Hegel in legitimizing scientistic sociology.]


Campbell, William F. "Theory and History: The Methodology of Ludwig von Mises." University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. Minneapolis, 1962.


Machlup, Fritz. "Liberalism and the Choice of Freedom." In Roads to Freedom: Essays in Honour of Friedrich A. von Hayek. Edited by Erich Streissler London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969, pp. 117-146.

[Machlup has been a close personal and intellectual friend of Hayek's since the early 1920s.]

——. "Friedrich von Hayek's Contribution to Economics." The Swedish Journal of Economics 76 (December 1974): 498-531.

[Reprinted in revised, updated form as "Hayek's Contribution to Economics" in Machlup's Essays on Hayek (1976).]

——. ed. "Hayek's Contribution to Economics." In Essays on Hayek with a Foreword by M. Friedman. New York: New York University Press, 1976, pp. 13-59.

[Contains the proceedings of a special regional meeting of the Mont Pélèrin Society (August 24-28, 1975) held at Hillsdale College (Michigan). Contributors to this quasi-Festschrift include Fritz Machlup, William F. Buckley, Jr., Gottfried Dietze, Ronald Max Hartwell, Shirley Robin Letwin, George C. Roche III, and Arthur Shenfield. This volume contains "Excerpts of The Official Announcement of the (Swedish) Royal Academy of Sciences" (p. xv, ff) pertaining to Hayek's Nobel Prize in Economics. Also included is Hayek's brief banquet speech reprinted from the Nobel Foundation's volume Les Prix Nobel 1974, pp. 38-39.]

——. "Friedrich von Hayek on Scientific and Scientistic Attitudes." The Swedish Journal of Economics 76 (1974).

[Reprinted in Machlup, Methodology of Economics and Other Social Sciences. New York and London, 1978, pp. 513-519.]

——. Würdigung der Werke von Friedrich August von Hayek. Tübingen: Walter Eucken Institut (Vorträge und Aufsätze, Heft 62), 1977, pp. 63-75.

["Assessment of the Works of Friedrich August von Hayek."]


Nishiyama, Chiaki. "The Theory of Self-Love. An Essay on the Methodology of the Social Sciences, and Especially of Economics, with Special Reference to Bernard Mandeville." University of Chicago Ph.D. Dissertation, 1960.

[Nishiyama's dissertation was done under Hayek's supervision. From 1950-1962 Hayek was professor of social and moral science in the Committee of Social Thought headed by John U. Nef at the University of Chicago. 1960 also saw the publication of Hayek's B-12.]

——. "Hayek's Theory of Sensory Order and the Methodology of the Social Sciences." The Journal of Applied Sociology 7 (Tokyo 1964).

——. "Revival of the Philosophy of Economics: A Critique of Hayek's System of Liberty." The Economics Studies Quarterly 15, no. 2. (Tokyo 1965).

——. "Arguments for the Principles of Liberty and the Philosophy of Science." Il Politico 32 (June 1967): 336-347.

[Commentary on and response to Hayek, A-115.]

——. "Anti-Rationalism or Critical Rationalism." In Zur Verfassung der Freiheit: Festgabe für Friedrich A. von Hayek zur Vollendung seines achtzigsten Lebensjahres. Edited by Fritz W. Meyer et al. Stuttgart, New York: Gustav Fischer Verlag (Ordo 30) 1979, pp. 21-42.

——. Human Capitalism. A Presidential Lecture delivered at the 1981 Stockholm Regional Meeting of The Mont Pélèrin Society, August 30, 1981. Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1982, 33 pp.


Nozick, Robert. Anarchy, State, and Utopia. New York: Basic Books, 1974.

——. "On Austrian Methodology." Synthese 36 (1977): 353-392.


Paul, Jeffrey Elliott. "Individualism, Holism, and Human: An Investigation into Social Scientific Methodology." Brandeis University (Department of Philosophy) Ph.D. Dissertation [74-16, 832] 1974.

[See also John O'Neill, ed. (1973).]