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Hayek's Unconventionalism

Hayek's Unconventionalism Jacques Garello0 1. Introduction Hayek's evolutionism yields only inadequate answers to some issues pertaining to the emergence and evolution of institutions. These are construed as social rules likely to provide plausible information about the behavior of individuals in their interactional relationships.1 The first issue relates to the selection criterion that accounts for the fact that a rule comes to "institutionalize" itself. Hayek gives us to understand that the rule which will have secured the prosperity and perenniality of the group that embraced it is the benign rule. A sheer efficiency criterion, if not a tautology, ostensibly underlies this explanation. Moreover, conceptually, Hayek's point of view partakes more of a sociological perspective than of an individualistic methodology. 2 The second point bears on the way rules emerge. If it can indeed be reckoned that spontaneous ordering forces are always at work, this nevertheless leaves open the issue of knowing whether rules emerge mysteriously, suddenly or unwittingly. Hayek undoubtedly wished to lead himself out of contractarian conceptions: the idea of a social contract from which an unchallenged and everlasting rule springs into existence is not in keeping with the Hayekian perspective about an ongoing process of social experimentation. Notwithstanding this 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-1999-0403
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Jacques Garello0 1. Introduction Hayek's evolutionism yields only inadequate answers to some issues pertaining to the emergence and evolution of institutions. These are construed as social rules likely to provide plausible information about the behavior of individuals in their interactional relationships.1 The first issue relates to the selection criterion that accounts for the fact that a rule comes to "institutionalize" itself. Hayek gives us to understand that the rule which will have secured the prosperity and perenniality of the group that embraced it is the benign rule. A sheer efficiency criterion, if not a tautology, ostensibly underlies this explanation. Moreover, conceptually, Hayek's point of view partakes more of a sociological perspective than of an individualistic methodology. 2 The second point bears on the way rules emerge. If it can indeed be reckoned that spontaneous ordering forces are always at work, this nevertheless leaves open the issue of knowing whether rules emerge mysteriously, suddenly or unwittingly. Hayek undoubtedly wished to lead himself out of contractarian conceptions: the idea of a social contract from which an unchallenged and everlasting rule springs into existence is not in keeping with the Hayekian perspective about an ongoing process of social experimentation. Notwithstanding this

Journal

Journal des Économistes et des Études Humainesde Gruyter

Published: Dec 1, 1999

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