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Hayek's Complexity

Hayek's Complexity Frederique Chaumont-Chancelier0 1. Introduction: Das Friedrich Hayek Problem Social scientists -- economists in particular -- are nowadays highly specialised. Things were different in Hayek's case. Through his work, he tried to give us a complete 'theory of the market order of free human societies': 1 he attempted to explain not only the workings of the market but also its very existence. He proposed a theory of cultural evolution2 to show how the rules and institutions that constitute the market societies could evolve, develop and lead to a social order of co-ordination and co-operation. However, according to Vanberg 3 it is clear that this ambitious goal has been paid at a high price: that of coherence. Hayek's evolutionary explanation, grounded in group selection, does not seem to rely on methodological individualism and subjectivism. The main purpose of this article is to mitigate the alleged schizophrenic gap between Hayek qua Austrian theorist of the market and Hayek qua evolutionary theorist by pointing out towards the major role played in his thought by "complexity" not only as a reality to be studied but also as an analytic framework. First, we shall argue that complexity grants coherence to Hayek's social theory (section http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaines de Gruyter

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 by the
ISSN
2194-5799
eISSN
2153-1552
DOI
10.1515/jeeh-1999-0405
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Frederique Chaumont-Chancelier0 1. Introduction: Das Friedrich Hayek Problem Social scientists -- economists in particular -- are nowadays highly specialised. Things were different in Hayek's case. Through his work, he tried to give us a complete 'theory of the market order of free human societies': 1 he attempted to explain not only the workings of the market but also its very existence. He proposed a theory of cultural evolution2 to show how the rules and institutions that constitute the market societies could evolve, develop and lead to a social order of co-ordination and co-operation. However, according to Vanberg 3 it is clear that this ambitious goal has been paid at a high price: that of coherence. Hayek's evolutionary explanation, grounded in group selection, does not seem to rely on methodological individualism and subjectivism. The main purpose of this article is to mitigate the alleged schizophrenic gap between Hayek qua Austrian theorist of the market and Hayek qua evolutionary theorist by pointing out towards the major role played in his thought by "complexity" not only as a reality to be studied but also as an analytic framework. First, we shall argue that complexity grants coherence to Hayek's social theory (section

Journal

Journal des Économistes et des Études Humainesde Gruyter

Published: Dec 1, 1999

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