HAYEK the APRIORIST?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The paper argues that Terence Hutchison's (1981) argument that the young F. A. Hayek maintained a methodological position markedly similar to that of Ludwig von Mises fails to support the relevant conclusion. The first problem with Hutchison's argument is that it is not clear exactly what conclusion he meant to establish. Mises (in)famously maintained a rather extreme methodological apriorism. However, the concept of a priori knowledge that emerges from Hayek's epistemology as implied in his work on theoretical psychology is the opposite of Mises's treatment of a priori knowledge. Thus, it cannot be maintained-if, indeed, Hutchison meant to establish-that Hayek was a Misesian apriorist during the years in question. What's more, the paper shows that Hutchison's argument does not support a weaker interpretation of the relevant conclusion. There are alternative interpretations of Hutchison's evidence, more charitable and more consistent with Hayek's epistemology, which undermine Hutchison's conclusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-110
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the History of Economic Thought
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 12 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Epistemology
Ludwig von Mises
A Priori Knowledge
Psychology
F.A. Hayek
Apriorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

HAYEK the APRIORIST? / Scheall, Scott.

In: Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Vol. 37, No. 1, 12.02.2015, p. 87-110.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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