Hayek on the Role of Reason in Human Affairs


Throughout a lifetime of scholarly investigation, F. A. Hayek was concerned to explore certain epistemological issues that bear on social-science methodology in general and economic and political theory in particular. Among the more important of these issues is the extent to which human reason is capable of consciously coordinating the actions of the numerous members of any complex social order. And determining either the rules or values that should govern a society or the ends its members ought to pursue is also important. Such epistemological concerns were central to Hayek’s investigations because he believed the rise of the illiberal collectivist ideologies he was concerned to refute could be attributed, in large part, to mistaken notions concerning the nature and function of human reason.
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