Studies on the Abuse and Decline of Reason: Text and Documents

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Mar 15, 2010 - Social Science - 344 pages
Studies on the Abuse and Decline of Reason is a series of fascinating essays on the study of social phenomena. How to best and most accurately study social interactions has long been debated intensely, and there are two main approaches: the positivists, who ignore intent and belief and draw on methods based in the sciences; and the nonpositivists, who argue that opinions and ideas drive action and are central to understanding social behavior. F. A. Hayek’s opposition to the positivists and their claims to scientific rigor and certainty in the study of human behavior is a running theme of this important book.

Hayek argues that the vast number of elements whose interactions create social structures and institutions make it unlikely that social science can predict precise outcomes. Instead, he contends, we should strive to simply understand the principles by which phenomena are produced. For Hayek this modesty of aspirations went hand in hand with his concern over widespread enthusiasm for economic planning. As a result, these essays are relevant to ongoing debates within the social sciences and to discussion about the role government can and should play in the economy.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

In this book Hayek demonstrates clearly what a misguided idea it is to think that the methodology of natural science can be applied to social phenomena. It's almost amusing how, 70 years after he ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GaryWolf - LibraryThing

Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992) was a great Austrian-born economist and philosopher. When one considers the breadth of his work and the acuity of his analysis, he may very well be the pre ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
STUDIES ON THE ABUSE AND DECLINE OF REASON
46
Related Documents
305
Acknowledgments
325
Index
327
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

F. A. Hayek (1899-1992), recipient of the Medal of Freedom in 1991 and co-winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974, was a pioneer in monetary theory and a leading proponent of classical liberalism in the twentieth century. He taught at the University of London, the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.

Bruce Caldwell is research professor of economics and director of the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University.

Bibliographic information