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On the Internal Consistency of Hayek's Evolutionary oriented Constitutional Economics — A Comment

On the Internal Consistency of Hayek's Evolutionary oriented Constitutional Economics — A Comment terms, evolution is the idea "that a mechanism of reduplication with transmittable variations and competitive selection of those which prove to have a better chance of survival will in the course of time produce a great variety of structures adapted to continuous adjustment to the environment and to each other". 3 In a cultural context, it is "a process in which practices which had first been adopted for other reasons, or even purely accidentally, were preserved because they enabled the group in which they had arisen to prevail over others". 4 Some institutional practices became established as venerated (though not immutable) traditions in consequence of the advantages to groups which adhered to those traditions. Practices which survived, brought man from "the small horde to the organised tribe, the still larger clans and the other successive steps towards the 'Great Society' ... [where] ... millions of men interact and where civilisation as we know it has developed". 5 Through the course of this development, innate instincts were restrained "in the manner that was required to make the Great Society possible". 6 Undoubtedly this account of cultural evolution involves an element of circular reasoning: by their more suitable adaptation institutions http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaines de Gruyter

On the Internal Consistency of Hayek's Evolutionary oriented Constitutional Economics — A Comment

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 1994 by the
ISSN
2194-5799
eISSN
2153-1552
DOI
10.1515/jeeh-1994-0106
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

terms, evolution is the idea "that a mechanism of reduplication with transmittable variations and competitive selection of those which prove to have a better chance of survival will in the course of time produce a great variety of structures adapted to continuous adjustment to the environment and to each other". 3 In a cultural context, it is "a process in which practices which had first been adopted for other reasons, or even purely accidentally, were preserved because they enabled the group in which they had arisen to prevail over others". 4 Some institutional practices became established as venerated (though not immutable) traditions in consequence of the advantages to groups which adhered to those traditions. Practices which survived, brought man from "the small horde to the organised tribe, the still larger clans and the other successive steps towards the 'Great Society' ... [where] ... millions of men interact and where civilisation as we know it has developed". 5 Through the course of this development, innate instincts were restrained "in the manner that was required to make the Great Society possible". 6 Undoubtedly this account of cultural evolution involves an element of circular reasoning: by their more suitable adaptation institutions

Journal

Journal des Économistes et des Études Humainesde Gruyter

Published: Mar 1, 1994

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