La prochaine séance du séminaire Science et Société se tiendra le mercredi 21 mai à 14h. Nous écouterons Naomi Beck (Institut d’histoire et de philosophie des sciences et des techniques, Paris 1) dont l'intervention aura pour titre : "Why Evolution ? The Origins of Hayek’s Unorthodox Theory".
"Why Evolution? The Origins of Hayek’s Unorthodox Theory
Nobel Laureate Friedrich August von Hayek was an unconventional economist. He veered away from technical analysis relatively early in his career in order to pursue epistemological, psychological and ethical questions. His investigations resulted in a theory of cultural evolution, which meant both to explain the emergence of the free market and promote it. This theory remains the most criticized and least known part of Hayek’s work, though he considered it the epitome of his intellectual efforts. In my talk, I will examine the reasons that led Hayek to turn to evolution in his defense of methodological individualism and the free market. Starting with a survey of Hayek’s criticism against positivism and the over-use of mathematical and statistical tools in economic analysis, I will proceed to examine the differences between his view of economics and the position of his friend and colleague, Milton Friedman. I will then show how Hayek’s foray into psychology in the early 1950s paved the way to his theory of cultural evolution. Finally, I will point to some of the problems in Hayek’s portrayal of the free market order as the result of cultural group selection.