Normative judgments and spontaneous order: The contractarian element in Hayek's thought
AbstractThis paper explores the apparent tension between Hayek's moral skepticism and his role as a defender of liberal institutions. It looks at Hayek's concept of spontaneous order, and asks whether there are any grounds for claiming that spontaneous orders have moral value. The argument from group selection is considered but rejected. Hayek is interpreted as putting most weight on arguments which show, for specific orders (such as the market and common law) that their rules assist each individual in the pursuit of his or her ends, whatever those ends may be. It is suggested that this form of argument is contractarian in character. However, Hayek's contractarianism is distinctive in that it looks for agreement among individuals within an ongoing social order, rather than among rational agents who stand outside any particular society. Copyright George Mason University 1993
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Constitutional Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 4 (1993)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102866
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
- Agnès Festré & Pierre Garrouste, 2009. "The economic analysis of social norms: A reappraisal of Hayek's legacy," Post-Print halshs-00346389, HAL.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.