Structure of F. A. Hayek's Evolutionary Theory

Pavel Doleček



The study aims to introduce the structure of Hayek's evolutionism and proceeds in the following steps: (i) A historical and systematic exposition of the theory of evolution's influence on Hayek's philosophy is the starting point. Emphasis is placed on the timeline of the development of his system of ideas and the systematic differentiation between the explanans and the explanandum in his theory of science. (ii) The way Hayek develops his methodology of science is also analyzed. In relation to this, the thesis that Hayek's take on methodological dualism is a direct result of the influence of the theory of evolution is affirmed. The theory of evolution is portrayed as a tool of explanation, specifically as a so-called explanation of pattern. (iii) Hayek's take on society in context of the theory of evolution is presented. Society is interpreted as an order of action with emphasis on Hayek's assumption that society is an order evolving along with the human mind. (iv) The last part of the text elaborates on Hayek's perspective on the mind. This theory is rooted in connectionism. I argue against the traditional view of Hayek's philosophy as an elaboration on Kant's philosophy. The final summary reviews the funda- mental points of Hayek's evolutionism.


F. A. Hayek; evoluce; metodologie vědy; společnost

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: /// email: